President Barack Obama took a moment during Sunday night’s Grammy Awards to deliver an impassioned video-taped message to end violence, calling on artists to use their notoriety to change public perception.
“It’s not OK,” said Obama in a video clip. “Right now, nearly one in five women in America has been a victim of rape or attempted rape, and more than one in four women has experienced some form of domestic violence.”
Obama’s video was followed by a powerful speech by abuse survivor and activist Brooke Axtell.
Axtell said she was bound to her attacker by a need to heal him. But, her compassion throughout the situation was futile because it did not include her. When her attacker threatened to kill her, she said she knew she had to escape the relationship. Her mother convinced her to get help.
Singer Katy Perry then appeared donning a white dress with an attached white cape to sing her song, “By the Grace of God.”
Perry reportedly wrote the song at a time when she was contemplating suicide.
The speeches, as well as the performance, had viewers virtually pumping their collective fists on social media:
Brooke Axtell's speech on domestic violence on the Grammy's was empowering and Katy Perry's song was very moving. #stopdomesticabuse
— Nayeli Castro (@n_castro15) February 9, 2015
Katy Perry's Grammy's performance was really good but Brooke Axtell stole the show
— Dank Sinatra (@dutchied) February 9, 2015
brooke axtell deserves a grammy for sharing her story on national television
— anusha (@ajoshi71800) February 9, 2015
— joey bess (@thejoeybess) February 9, 2015
Axtell, a 34-year-old Austin resident, now serves as director of communications for the nonprofit “Allies Against Slavery,” which helps communities and cities create holistic solutions to human trafficking and modern slavery.