Country singer Lindsay Ell has revealed she was a victim of sexual assault twice in her life.

The 31-year-old musician told People magazine she was raped twice, once at 13 years old and again at 21 years old. Ell said that when she was a young teen, a man at her church allegedly groomed and assaulted her and she wasn’t able to tell her parents until years later.

“They had no idea it happened, and they were absolutely horrified,” she said. “I’m so grateful towards both of them because they helped me not go into any unhealthy mechanisms to cope.”

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After the rape, she began therapy but when Ell was 21 she was attacked in a “different” and a “lot more violent” way. After the second assault, she began to suffer from depression and anxiety.

Ell decided it was time to write about her past in her new emotional song “make you,” which is off her new album “heart theory.”

“The song only talks about the first time. It’s just a difficult thing to talk about, and it’s something that I process every day still,” she admitted.

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She sings, “Thirteen, starin’ in the mirror/You still look so innocent/But that was all gone yesterday/At eighteen, you see it a little clearer/Somethin’ that was taken/Before you could give it away,” she sings in the beginning of the track. “And you feel dirty, you feel guilty/For what was done to you/There’ll be a canyon in your chest/For what you can’t undo.”

Ell explained that a visit to an organization that helps young victims of sexual abuse called Youth for Tomorrow has helped her begin to heal from her attacks.

“I felt so alone for so long, like ‘This only happened to me.’ But it’s not true,” she admitted. “If I would’ve known that when I was 13, I would have felt such a deep feeling of relief.”

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Ell added, “Part of me talking about it now is liberating the little 13-year-old Lindsay and the 21-year-old Lindsay. Pain is something we can let control us if we don’t deal with it, but the minute you put a voice to your story the shame has no power.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

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