Lady Gaga was flanked by 50 sex assault survivors during the Oscars, including three young women affiliated with UC Berkeley and Stanford, who were also featured in a documentary about the same subject.
The Daily Cal reported that UC Berkeley junior Thanh Mai Bercher and alumna Sofie Karasek were invited to the Sunday’s award ceremony by the production crew of “The Hunting Ground,” the documentary for which Lady Gaga co-wrote and performed the best original song nominee, “Til It Happens to You.” The Palo Alto Weekly reported that Jackie Lin at Stanford University was also on stage. Lady Gaga is also a survivor of sexual assault.
UC Berkeley is a poignant spot for the fight against sexual assault. Police said that in February alone, three women were assaulted near campus and another assault was reported at a fraternity.
Karasek, who now lives in New York, is the director of education at End Rape on Campus, which is featured in “The Hunting Ground.” The group helped spark a wave of federal complaints against colleges and universities about how they handled sexual violence cases. Karesek and two others also filed a civil lawsuit against Cal for its alleged mishandling of sex assault cases.
“I think we definitely accomplished more than any one award could have last night,” Karasek told the Daily Cal. “Though it would have been symbolic to win (the Oscar), it was more symbolic that we didn’t, because it’s reflective of how much further we have to go.”