Lindsay Ell Shares Story of Rape to Empower Others

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Lindsay Ell shares story of rape at a young age
Photo by Curtis Hilbun /

It takes a special and strong woman to turn their own personal heartbreak into a movement to empower others, but that is what Lindsay Ell is doing with her Make You Movement.

According to the movement’s website, it all began when Lindsay had the opportunity to sit down with a group of young women who had been victims of rape and trafficking. During that conversation, Lindsay opened up about her own experience of sexual trauma.

“That day, I decided that I want to be a place of comfort and empathy for younger girls and boys who have experienced sexual abuse or trauma in their childhoods,” she says “I want to be able to talk to disenfranchised youth and help them become more aware of themselves so that they can avoid putting themselves or their friends in situations that would lead to these types of abuse. I want to be able to speak to adults who have been through something similar to my story, to let them know that it is not our past that defines our future, but it is what we decide to do with it that does.”

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The gifted singer, songwriter and musician was inspired to reach out to singer/songwriter Brandy Clark and the pair penned “make You” for her upcoming album, heart theory.

In a post on her Instagram page, Brandy wrote, “By the time Lindsay Ell and I sat down to write a song, I felt like we knew each other pretty well having been on a couple of tours together. I asked Lindsay what she wanted to say that first day we got together to write. I expected her to say something fun with a groove….boy, was I wrong. She knew exactly the story that she wanted to tell and I was BLOWN away by how candidly she wanted to tell it. ‘Make You’ is her story and it took a lot of BRAVERY for her to tell it. I’m so proud of her and that she chose me help write this song.”

Lindsay told People, “I was raped when I was 13, and it happened again when I was 21. The song only talks about he first time. It’s just a difficult thing to talk about, and it’s something that I process every day still.”

Assaulted by a man from her church that her family knew, Lindsay admits that she didn’t tell her family right away.

“I felt like I had really mess up, that everybody was going to judge me and that the rest of my life was ruined.” At 20, she told her family who was “horrified.” She says “I’m so grateful towards both of them because they helped me not go into any unhealthy mechanisms to cope.”

[RELATED: Lindsay Ell Undergoes Surgery for Pre-Cancerous Growth]

With the release of “make You,” Lindsay launches the Make You Movement which supports various causes and organizations that focus on at-risk youth, and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual trauma survivors. The first organization to benefit from the Make You Movement is the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

Donations can be made at the Make You Movement page on the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee website.