Though we've become more open to discussions of sexual violence and equality, domestic abuse is a topic that largely remains on the back burner. Soul artist Mary J. Blige is seeking to change that.
The musician just released an incredibly powerful music video for her latest single, “Whole Damn Year,” which details the pain and inescapability of domestic violence.
The lyrical story follows a victim trying to free herself emotionally from the demons of past abuse, a feeling Blige herself is intimately familiar with, having dealt with sexual abuse during her teenage years.
The video, shot in black and white, is marked by raw scenes of physical abuse. It is, at times, difficult to watch.
But it's incredibly important. By letting her guard down, Blige demonstrates to other victims that it's okay to do the same.
The hope seems to be that by inspiring conversation, we can not only address domestic abuse, but also fight it. Eliminate it.
You can watch Blige's stark, powerful video up top.
If you're a victim of domestic abuse or know someone who is, report it immediately -- and visit helpguide.org to learn coping mechanisms and how you can help others.