What Kesha's Sexual Assault Battle Says About The Treatment Of Victims

by Rachael Thatcher
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If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard any new Kesha songs blaring through your radio lately, it's because her career has been at a standstill.

To sum it up, she’s been caught in a lawsuit with her producer, and that has prevented her from recording any music.

Wait. Rewind. What’s going on?

In 2014, Kesha filed a lawsuit against her producer, Dr. Luke, for repeated sexual assault, sexual harassment and emotional abuse. His reaction to the lawsuit was to sue her back.

He filed a lawsuit against Pebe Sebert, Kesha's mother, saying she had fueled Kesha's anger toward him and also threatened to extort him. To state the obvious, Kesha did not want to be in a contract with the man who she claimed was repeatedly assaulting her.

Her contract with Dr. Luke prevents her from recording elsewhere, which is why she hasn’t been able to make any new music.

If you couldn’t tell how screwed up all that is, I’ll explain it again: Kesha tried to get out of her contract with the help of her manager and mother so she wouldn’t have to work with Dr. Luke. She sued him for assault, and in turn, he decided to sue the both of them for trying to void the contract.

Well, excuse me. The fact that this has become such a drawn-out process — even for someone with celebrity status — goes to show how our judicial system functions in cases of sexual assault.

The claims Kesha has made are heart-wrenching. She explains how she's been facing harassment from her producer since she signed with him at 18 years old. She faced the dilemma of coming forward and potentially losing her career, or suffering.

This is one of so many cases where the victim has immense pressure to remain silent. It is not recognized how many assaulters get away unscathed — despite their heinous crimes — because of manipulation of the public eye, their careers, their education and so many other reasons.

It has become increasingly difficult to bring justice to sexual assault cases, and far too often, victim blaming occurs either by the press or court.

It's time for these attackers to be put in their place. We need a platform that will provide victims with the ability to report on their attacks without the backlash that so often occurs.

There are so many cases that never get filed. There are people who have never spoken up and criminals who have been overlooked because of the repercussions that so often come along with fighting sexual assault.

The processes and legalities leave vulnerable people in the limbo stage where they can't go on living their own lives, and they have onlookers questioning whether or not they're "telling the truth." It is absolutely terrifying what happens behind closed doors, and how many attacks are just waiting to happen.

I will never forget sitting at college orientation during the sexual assault portion. The slideshow exhibited several scenarios, and the leader asked the group whether or not each situation was sexual assault.

An unsettling number of future students did not know the difference between rape and consent. Far too many hands were raised, claiming a scenario on the screen was perfectly OK, even when it so clearly was not.

Every single time I walked to my car throughout my college career, I made sure I was on the phone with someone. My keys were faced out between my fingers in the case of an attack.

Not only does consent need to be taught at an early age, victim blaming needs to be shut out completely. There needs to be a better way to handle sexual assault cases in court.

Too many people live in fear or agony because of the way sexual assault is handled in our country. Too many people suffer, while their attackers and harassers face little to no consequences.

On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, a New York judge ruled to dismiss Dr. Luke’s lawsuits against Kesha’s mother and manager. Unfortunately, Dr. Luke has also filed against Kesha's mother in Tennessee.

Hopefully, the ruling is a step in the right direction, and order will soon be restored. If one positive thing can come of the situation, I hope it is that Kesha's case will turn out in the right favor and serve as an example of future rulings.

There are still plenty of legal hoops to continue jumping through, however. Sadly, Kesha can't say goodbye to the drama just yet.

Kesha’s overlaying problem is her career is on the decline. After all, she is a singer, but she hasn’t been able to record any songs.

She is hoping at the court hearing next month that the court’s decision will allow her to record outside of her contract. To see what her fans have to say about it, check out the hashtag #FreeKesha.