As It Happens

Lady Gaga, Joe Biden planning centers for sexual assault survivors

Former vice president Joe Biden has revealed plans to work with Lady Gaga on building open centers that provide relief for sexual abuse survivors.

“Women who are abused end up having long-term physical and physiological problems,” Biden said on Monday at Glamour‘s Women of the Year Summit. “I’m working with Lady Gaga now… we want to set up trauma centers where women can go to get the long-term help they need to deal with these crises. We finally are recognizing the long-term impacts on the health of women and men who’ve been abused. It’s the next great frontier I want to be part of.”

Earlier this year, Biden and Gaga collaborated on the “It’s On Us” campaign, which was originally established in 2014 under the Obama administration to fight sexual assault on college campuses. The pair encouraged viewers to intervene in situations where consent isn’t given, and Gaga opened up about the “psychological, physical, mental” effects of her trauma. “It can be terrifying, waking up every day and feeling unsafe in your own body,” she said in a PSA.

A spokesperson for Biden told Entertainment Weekly, “The vice president and Lady Gaga share an interest in addressing the long-term physical and emotional effects of trauma, and they have been discussing what to do about it. Their discussions on how to move forward are in the early stages.”

The Joanne singer’s long been an advocate for sexual assault survivors, having previously released her power-ballad “Til It Happens To You” for the documentary The Hunting Ground. Co-written with hitmaker Diane Warren, the track reflected on Gaga’s personal experience and donated a portion of its proceeds to organizations that support sexual abuse survivors.

Biden first met Gaga when he introduced her powerful performance of the song at the 2016 Oscars, sparking a partnership that arrives at an important, watershed moment for sexual assault in the public conscious. Revisit Gaga’s “Til It Happens To You,” below.

Gaga has long championed for charitable causes, having co-founded the Born This Way Foundation with her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, in the name of promoting kindness and mental health resources. She has also partnered with the Dalai Lama and Prince William on similar causes in the recent past.