Duffy shared the harrowing details of being raped and held captive.
In February, the Welsh singer, widely known for her 2008 hit song “Mercy,” told fans she had chosen to be out of the spotlight for a decade to recover from the traumatic incident. In a new, powerful first-person account, she detailed the horrifying experience and shared her decision to come forward with her story.
“It was my birthday, I was drugged at a restaurant, I was drugged then for four weeks and traveled to a foreign country,” Duffy, 35, wrote. “I can’t remember getting on the plane and came round in the back of a traveling vehicle. I was put into a hotel room and the perpetrator returned and raped me.”
Then, the star said she “could have been disposed of by him” and that “he made veiled confessions of wanting to kill” her. She contemplated running away, but feared for her life. “I do not know how I had the strength to endure those days,” she wrote.
Duffy — born Aimee Anne Duffy — said she was ultimately flown back to the U.K. by him, and that he proceeded to drug her in her own home for the next four weeks. “I do not know if he raped me there during that time,” she wrote.
“Thereafter, it didn’t feel safe to go to the police. I felt if anything went wrong, I would be dead, and he would have killed me,” she wrote. “I could not risk being mishandled or it being all over the news during my danger. I really had to follow what instincts I had. I have told two female police officers, during different threatening incidents in the past decade, it is on record.”
The singer then opened up about the impact the traumatic incident had on her life in the years that followed, recalling how much she wished she could “change my name off public record and disappear to another country.” However, throughout her recovery, she realized that was not meant to be how her story ended.
“Rape stripped me of my human rights, to experience a life with autonomy from fear,” she wrote. “It has already stolen one-third of my life. Deep down I do know it would have been a shame and done such an immense disservice to my existence to just delete myself and forget what I had experienced in music publicly.”
Detailing how her relationships with loved ones was affected, Duffy wrote: “The toll of me hiding, this last decade, also meant I was estranged from all. What happened was not only a betrayal to me, to my life, a violence that nearly killed me, it stole a lot from other people too. I was just not the same person for so long.”
“Rape is like living murder, you are alive, but dead,” she added. “All I can say is it took an extremely long time, sometimes feeling never ending, to reclaim the shattered pieces of me.”
Along with sharing her past, the singer said she was “no longer ashamed” about this chapter of her life.
“I am sharing this because we are living in a hurting world and I am no longer ashamed that something deeply hurt me, anymore,” Duffy said. “I believe that if you speak from the heart within you, the heart within others will answer. As dark as my story is, I do speak from my heart, for my life, and for the life of others, whom have suffered the same.”
She also provided comforting words to everyone amid the coronavirus pandemic, telling her readers that she understood the pain they were feeling while in self-isolation.
“Ostracization and isolation is known to be a form of torture. If anyone would have told me I would share my times of isolation, with a nation isolated, I would never have believed them. What I can share though, at this time, during this shared experience is the science. The brain’s ‘dorsal anterior cingulate cortex,’ which registers physical pain, is activated when we are isolated,” Duffy wrote.
“Knowing the mind’s science enables you to manage it. And isolation is a small price to pay for saving lives, therefore we must be strong in the face of it. This demands us all, as one, to act for each other; never has mindfulness been so vital as it is now,” she added. “If you are reading this and are sad my encouragement to you is that … to know pain, you must first know how to love. Only the absence of love causes pain. So, go find it. Seek love in everything, even in a teacup.”
In March, Duffy released a new song, “Something Beautiful” that she hoped would help uplift people during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s just something for you to play people on radio during these troubling times, if you like the song of course,” she shared on Instagram. “If it lifts spirits. I don’t plan to release it, I just thought a little something might be nice for people if they are at home, on lockdown.”
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.
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