Halsey's Women's March speech moved people around the world

Singer recounts her experiences with assault
Singer recounts her experiences with assault


    Singer recounts her experiences with assault


Singer recounts her experiences with assault 04:40

(CNN)One of the most moving moments from the Women's Marches that took over the country this weekend came when 23-year-old singer Halsey delivered a free-verse poem to a New York City crowd recounting her experiences with assault and feelings of powerlessness.

Her poem closed with strong words of hope and encouragement that triggered an outpouring of support and gratitude from around the world.
In her nearly five-minute performance, titled "A Story Like Mine," the Grammy-nominated singer recalled several moments when her life was changed by assault or abuse. The full transcript of the poem is below.
(Warning: The poem contains detailed descriptions of sexual abuse.)
    It's 2009 and I'm 14 and I'm crying
    Not really sure where I am but I'm holding the hand of my best friend Sam
    In the waiting room of a Planned Parenthood
    The air is sterile and clean, and the walls are that not gray, but green
    And the lights are so bright they could burn a hole through the seam of my jeans
    My phone is buzzing in the pocket
    My mom is asking me if I remembered my keys 'cause she's closing the door and she needs to lock it
    But I can't tell my mom where I've gone
    I can't tell anyone at all
    You see, my best friend Sam was raped by a man that we knew 'cause he worked in the after-school program
    And he held her down with her textbook beside her
    And he covered her mouth and he came inside her
    So now I'm with Sam, at the place with a plan, waiting for the results of a medical exam
    And she's praying she doesn't need an abortion, she couldn't afford it
    And her parents would, like, totally kill her
    It's 2002 and my family just moved and the only people I know are my mom's friends, too, and her son
    He's got a case of Matchbox cars and he says that he'll teach me to play the guitar if I just keep quiet
    And the stairwell beside apartment 1245 will haunt me in my sleep for as long as I am alive
    And I'm too young to know why it aches in my thighs, but I must lie, I must lie
    It's 2012 and I'm dating a guy and I sleep in his bed and I just learned how to drive
    And he's older than me and he drinks whiskey neat and he's paying for everything
    This adult thing is not cheap
    We've been fighting a lot, almost 10 times a week
    And he wants to have sex, and I just want to sleep
    He says I can't say no to him
    This much I owe to him
    He buys my dinner, so I have to blow him
    He's taken to forcing me down on my knees
    And I'm confused 'cause he's hurting me while he says please
    And he's only a man, and these things he just needs
    He's my boyfriend, so why am I filled with unease?
    It's 2017 and I live like a queen
    And I've followed damn near every one of my dreams
    I'm invincible and I'm so f***ing naive
    I believe I'm protected 'cause I live on a screen
    Nobody would dare act that way around me
    I've earned my protection, eternally clean
    Until a man that I trust gets his hands in my pants
    But I don't want none of that, I just wanted to dance
    And I wake up the next morning like I'm in a trance and there's blood
    Is that my blood?
    Hold on a minute
    You see I've worked every day since I was 18
    I've toured everywhere from Japan to Mar-a-Lago
    I even went on stage that night in Chicago when I was having a miscarriage
    I mean, I pied the piper, I put on a diaper
    And sang out my spleen to a room full of teens
    What do you mean this happened to me?
    You can't put your hands on me
    You don't know what my body has been through
    I'm supposed to be safe now
    I earned it
    It's 2018 and I've realized nobody is safe long as she is alive
    And every friend that I know has a story like mine
    And the world tells me we should take it as a compliment
    But then heroes like Ashley and Simone and Gabby, McKayla and Gaga, Rosario, Aly
    Remind me this is the beginning, it is not the finale
    And that's why we're here
    And that's why we rally
    It's Olympians and a medical resident and not one f***ing word from the man who is President
    It's about closed doors and secrets and legs and stilettos from the Hollywood hills to the projects in ghettos
    When babies are ripped from the arms of teen mothers and child brides cry globally under the covers
    Who don't have a voice on the magazine covers
    They tell us take cover
    But we are not free until all of us are free
    So love your neighbor, please treat her kindly
    Ask her story and then shut up and listen
    Black, Asian, poor, wealthy, trans, cis, Muslim, Christian
    Listen, listen and then yell at the top of your lungs
    Be a voice for all those who have prisoner tongues
    For the people who had to grow up way too young
    There is work to be done
    There are songs to be sung
    Lord knows there's a war to be won
    The poem's straightforward nature and its call to recognize the similar struggles of all women struck a chord with fellow celebrities and fans alike.
    Halsey responded by saying she was thankful for the support but also "saddened" that so many others had a story like hers.