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Demi Lovato Praised For Speaking Out About Meeting Up With Her Rapist

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Demi Lovato Praised For Speaking Out About Meeting Up With Her Rapist

Demi Lovato has been praised after she bravely opened up about meeting her rapist after she was sexually assaulted.

Following an interview with The Sunday Times, as well as revelations made in her recent documentary series, Demi spoke out about experiencing sexual assault twice, and how she decided to meet up with her attackers to "take the power back".

Now, she's been praised by sexual assault charities, Rape Crisis and The Survivors Trust, for her courage in opening up.

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Demi bravely revealed she had been assaulted twice - once when she was aged just 15 and a decade later, at 25, when she was raped by her drug dealer on the night she overdosed.

"I wish I could say the last night I ever touched heroin was the night of my overdose," said 28-year-old Demi, in her documentary series, Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil.

"But it wasn't. I wanted to rewrite his choice of violating me. I wanted it now to be my choice. I said, 'No, I'm going to f*** you.' That was my way of taking the power back."

Demi revealed that 10 years earlier, she had done the same with the first man who raped her, someone from within the industry, who never got in trouble and "never got taken out of the movie they were in".

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"And it didn't fix anything. All it did was make me feel worse," she said.

Demi bravely revealed she had been assaulted twice (Credit: YouTube Originals)
Demi bravely revealed she had been assaulted twice (Credit: YouTube Originals)

In the Times interview, Demi added: "I use the term 'trauma re-enactment'. And there's a sense of agency that I guess I felt when I was the one to call them back and kind of correct the situation, in my eyes.

"Because if I was the one in control, then I was fixing it. Which obviously isn't the case. Like, what happened still happened. And this is not going to make it any better."

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Following Demi's revelations, sexual assault charities The Survivors Trust and Rape Crisis have praised the singer for her bravery.

Speaking to Tyla, The Survivors Trust CEO Fay Maxted OBE explained: "In speaking about 'trauma re-enactment' Demi has raised one of the most confusing aspects of surviving rape and sexual abuse and something that can lead to victim blaming unless the psychological impact of sexual victimisation is understood.

"The total physical and emotional betrayal of rape and sexual assault are the most damaging effects of being victimised. The world and the people in it become unsafe and frightening.

Demi has been praised for opening up about meeting her attackers (Credit: PA)
Demi has been praised for opening up about meeting her attackers (Credit: PA)
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"One way of fighting this is for the victim to take responsibility and ownership for themselves of what happened. Demi explains this really well, saying 'if I was the one in control, then I was fixing it.' Sadly, she found that it didn't fix it and couldn't make it better.

"The only person responsible for rape is the perpetrator and it is their behaviour where the focus needs to be placed rather than on anything the victim/survivor does to try and cope with their experiences.

"It's beyond brave for Demi to speak out in this way and will hopefully encourage other survivors to understand that each individual responds to sexual assault in their own individual way and to let go of any shame or guilt they might feel about anything they've done to survive."

Meanwhile, Katie Russell, national spokesperson for Rape Crisis England & Wales added that there is "no right or wrong way" to react to assault.

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"It's really important to remember that rape - and any form of sexual violence and abuse - can be an extremely traumatic experience," she said.

Demi spoke about her experiences in her recent documentary series, Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil (Credit: PA)
Demi spoke about her experiences in her recent documentary series, Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil (Credit: PA)

"People's neurological responses to trauma are complex and diverse, and sometimes as a result can be difficult for those who haven't experienced severe trauma to understand or relate to.

"But unless we've been through the same thing - and in fact even if we have been through something very similar, because each person and situation is unique - we can't know how we'd respond.

"There is no right or wrong way to be after or to react to sexual violence, and responses like Demi's are not uncommon. All sexual violence and abuse survivors deserve respect and empathy, not ill-informed judgement.

"To speak out about such painful experiences in this way can be extremely difficult but will doubtless bring some comfort and reassurance to others who relate to what Demi's been through."

If you have been affected by the content in this article, please visit: rapecrisis.org.uk or thesurvivorstrust.org.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Celebrity News

Lucy Devine
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