If you have ever been trapped by a man, you might know how Kesha feels

‘To this day, I refuse to hear his name. It gives me chills’

Yesterday, a judge ruled against musician Kesha’s request to be released from her recording contract with Sony. She must make six more albums with the record label. This thereby links her to a producer whom she says sexually assaulted her.

Kesha filed a lawsuit in 2014 alleging that producer Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald) had abused her for years, including forcing her to use drugs, and raping her. She has been trying to get out of the contract since then. He is counter-suing her for defamation.

“I cannot work with Dr Luke,” Kesha has said. “I physically cannot. I don’t feel safe in any way.”

Now, the justice system has dealt her a choice. A shitty choice: continuing to work with her alleged attacker, or renouncing her entire career.

Imagine the pain if it were to happen to you: having to see the face or hear the name of someone who you feel has ruined you.

The existing system is blunt. It also deters survivors from speaking up. And when a system fails one survivor, it fails all survivors. It fails anyone who is worried to talk about their past.

I want to stand up for Kesha in this moment, and I want to stand up for all survivors.

Kesha, she’s famous, she is beautiful. She is 28. It took her years to come forward, and I get it.

When I was  14, I became involved in a very abusive relationship. To this day, I refuse to hear his name, I shudder at it, it gives me chills and I just want to scream at the thought of seeing his face ever again. I was too young to truly recognise the damage: I had been taught, wrongly, that this was what “love” was supposed to be like. It took two years to escape, two years of incident after incident, of verbal, physical and emotional destruction.

I didn’t have the courage to speak out. I felt like I could never be loved by anyone else again. All I knew, is that I hated him for ruining my own ability to even love myself anymore.

I lost weight, my mood swung up and down. I dealt with it silently. Honestly, I didn’t  – and don’t still – want to report any of it. I don’t want to go back and think about what he did. I’m lucky that after three years I was able to escape, and never see his face again. Sure, I was damaged, but I realised I can’t let him win. I’ve got to be strong. I was no longer trapped.

I took a look at myself in the mirror and thought, someday, someone is going to love me the way I deserve to be loved, but for now, I’ll love myself.

And, that’s exactly what I did. Other survivors aren’t as lucky as me: they are still trapped, and might have to face their attacker every day. But they shouldn’t be forced to.

Where is the support? I know what it can feel like and I have no choice but to plead.

Join me, come forward and help free Kesha. For her, and all survivors: #FreeKesha.

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