Singer Lindsay Ell speaks about being a sexual abuse survivor in her new song “Make You” on July 7 in honor of Global Forgiveness Day. After being raped at age 13 Ell sings, “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.” 

In a press release Ell stated, “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. 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 also started the Make You Movement, a fund that will raise money for organizations that help youths who have suffered domestic abuse or sexual assault. All the proceeds from the “Make You” song will be donated to the movement.

Ell added, “I believe music has the power to heal. The reason I decided to share my story at this point in my life is that I want it to be able to help a lot of people; and the best way to help people is to not only raise my voice, but to raise money in an effort to raise awareness and understanding. I want to support programs that help girls & boys who may have been victims and support safety and prevention programs that aim to keep potential victims safe. Finally writing ‘make you’ has given me the courage to not let my past decide my future, so I am taking action in order to do just that. My hope is that my actions and song will inspire the same in others.”

The song is part of Ell’s upcoming album Heart Theory which is about the seven stages of grief. Her album comes out on August 14.