In 2014, the 29-year-old singer revealed that she was raped as a teenager, and now she is speaking out on her experience to help other people in similar situations.
"I didn't tell anyone for I think seven years," Gaga told a panel of women during her TimesTalk session in New York City on Thursday. "I didn't know how to think about it. I didn't know how to accept it. I didn't know how not to blame myself, or think it was my fault. It was something that really changed my life. It changed who I was completely."
Not only was she emotionally and mentally transformed, but she also notes, "It changed my body. When you go through a trauma like that, it doesn't just have the immediate physical ramifications on you. For many people it has almost like trauma. When you re-experience it throughout the years after it, it can trigger patterns in your body of physical distress, so a lot of people suffer from not only mental and emotional pain, but also physical pain of being abused, raped, or traumatized in some type of way."
It took the "Applause" songstress years to overcome the mental and physical battle over the experience, often blaming herself for it. "Because of the way that I dress, and the way that I'm provocative as a person, I thought that I had brought it on myself in some way," she explained. "That it was my fault."
However, after opening up about it for the first time last year—during an appearance on the Howard Stern Show—Gaga feels like she's lifted a weight off her shoulders, instead blaming her attacker and now being able to talk about it and use it as a tool to help others.
"I'm here because when I look out onto the sea of beautiful young faces that I get to sing and dance for, I see a lot of people who have secrets that are killing them," she said. "We don't want you to keep your pain inside and let it rot like an old apple on your counter, you know? It's like, just get rid of all that trash. Let's get rid of it together."