This past Saturday (January 20), thousands of women marched across the U.S. in cities like New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, and more to protest President Trump and his administration's policies (and to commemorate the one-year anniversary of last year's historic Women's March). Among them was Halsey, one of a reported 200,000 who protested in New York alone.
While there, she also took the podium to read a poem she called "A Story Like Mine," in which she shared her own experiences with sexual assault dating back to 2002, when she was 7 or 8 years old.
Halsey also tells of accompanying her friend to Planned Parenthood at age 14 after her friend was raped by a man "that we knew 'cause he worked in the after-school program." The poem highlights other experiences of sexual assault she has personally experienced, including one with a boyfriend in 2012 and one just last year, in 2017, at the height of her fame.
"It's 2018 and I've realized nobody is safe long as she is alive," Halsey says near the end before shouting out activists like Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Rosario Dawson, Lady Gaga, and others who've used their platform to speak out against assault and rape. "And every friend that I know has a story like mine. And the world tells me we should take it as a compliment."
Halsey concludes the poem: "There is work to be done. There are songs to be sung. Lord knows there's a war to be won."
Check out the powerful performance above, and if you want to read it, Billboard has the full transcript here.