Lindsay Ell is opening up like never before with her new song “make you,” sharing her painful story of surviving sexual abuse as a teenager.
The song, co-written by Ell and Brandy Clark, is the first time Ell publicly addresses being a survivor of sexual violence. The song finds Ell intimately exploring the deeply personal effects on her life after being raped at 13 years old.
On her upcoming album heart theory (out August 14) – which takes listeners through Ell’s personal experience of the seven stages of grief – “make you” appears as the first song in the acceptance stage, a reflection of Ell’s determination to use her platform to help other sexual trauma survivors.
Lindsay explains how meeting young survivors made her realize she couldn’t keep her own experience hidden any longer, “Three years ago at a visit to help launch the music program at Youth For Tomorrow, I sat down in a conference room with a few girls aged 12-18 who had all been victims of rape or sex trafficking. I shared my story, they shared their stories, and I was so inspired.”
She added, “Walking out of that room that day I knew the time had come to share my story more widely, otherwise I would be denying myself an opportunity to connect and help other girls or boys, like those in that room. It’s a very difficult thing to do, but an incredibly necessary thing to talk about. We don’t realize how much this stuff is happening in our own community, and that is partly due to not discussing it.”
Ell has committed to donate all her proceeds from “make you” to the Make You Movement. The first partner organization receiving funds from Make You Movement will be The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), which is the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization.