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Lindsay Ell’s Story Has Made Me A “Warrior” – I Was Sexually Assaulted Too

Ayla Brown


Country music singer, Lindsay Ell opened up about past sexual abuse and she says she now stronger than ever. In an interview with People magazine she revealed that she was raped at the age of 13 by a man in her church, and then again at the age of 21 by a different man. You can read her story below:

Lindsay Ell Reveals She Was Raped at 13 and 21 - Now She's Giving a 'Voice' to Fellow Survivors

"The minute you put a voice to your story, the shame has no power," says Lindsay Ell, who hopes to help sexual assault survivors feel less alone with her emotional new ballad "make you" "It's gonna make you hate yourself / When you didn't hate yourself at all / It's gonna make you build a fortress / Where you never had a wall," she sings on the track, which was co-written with country singer-songwriter Brandy Clark.

Lindsay also released a song on “World Forgiveness Day” called “Make You,” off of her upcoming album Heart Theory album which talks very descriptively about the first time that the sexual assault happened.

My Story

Just over four years ago I was sexually assaulted in a hotel room in Pittsburgh. I was on a musical tour where we traveled all over the country. Somebody thought that it was okay to escort me to my room, after I told him I didn’t need help being escorted to my room. The walk to my room turned into a push on my hotel room door. He used all of his shoulder to force the door open…

I’m not going to go into details of what actually happened in that room. I can’t do that and I’m not ready. But I will say this…I was sexually assaulted by someone that I trusted, someone I thought was a friend. And never in a million years did I think that this “friend” would ever violate me like that.

I’ve been holding on to this for four years. I’ve read that sexual abuse victims are scared to come out with the truth for a number of reasons.

One of them is that their personal reputation becomes tarnished. “What will people think of me when they hear this?” I think about that every day. I think about that right now. What will our listeners think of me knowing that this happened to me?

Another reason it’s so hard to come forward is fear. Many abusers threaten to hurt you or people you love if you ever tell. In my situation, this person told me that I could never tell a soul, or his wife, because he had just gotten married and didn’t want to lose her. And if I was really a “friend” I would keep my mouth shut.

And the last reason is straight embarrassment. It’s embarrassing that something like this happened to me. It’s embarrassing telling your family and boyfriend that you were sexually assaulted.

I always thought I was so strong. My entire reputation is built on being strong. And it’s crazy. I held on to so much guilt for not being “strong” enough to fight him away. But strength is in “honesty.” It’s in being “vulnerable.” Strength is doing the right thing even when it’s so hard. Lindsay Ell helped me recognize my strength. And I hope that my story will also help those who might be feeling a bit weak right now.

Happy place ????

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And I just want to remind anyone who needs to hear it. “No” means no. I don’t care how many drinks a woman or man has had. It doesn’t matter how one’s dressed. It doesn’t matter how someone flirts or wants a job or if it’s a boss. I could go on and on and on with so many scenarios. But “no” means no and you own your body.

I don’t really consider myself a “survivor.” I’ve decided that I’m going to change MY word to “warrior.” For some reason the word “survivor” makes me feel weird. But “warrior” makes me feel strong as hell.


There are resources out there for people who have been affected by sexual assault. First, check out Lindsay Ell’s new foundation called Make You Movement and if you are in New England, head over to for a number of links that might guide you through the healing process.

And lastly, confide in the people you trust to begin your journey. I’m always here if you need me

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