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Home Red Carpet Domestic Violence Awareness Takes Center Stage At This Year's Grammy Awards

Domestic Violence Awareness Takes Center Stage At This Year's Grammy Awards

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Katy Perry won't be making headlines due to Super Bowl sharks anymore.

At tonight's Grammy Awards, she showed us how mega pop stars can use their talents and passion to make a difference, not just memes.

After a glamorous red carpet and several eclectic performances, President Barack Obama appeared via video at the Grammys to discuss the campaign It's On Us, which aims to end sexual assault.

Then Brooke Axtel, an activist and survivor of domestic violence, took the stage. She performed an empowering written-word piece that was followed by an incredible performance by Perry singing "By the Grace of God."

"My name is Brooke Axtell, and I am a survivor of domestic violence," she told the Grammy crowd.

"After a year of passionate romance with a handsome, charismatic man, I was stunned when he began to abuse me. I believed he was lashing out because he was in pain and needed help. I believed my compassion could restore him and our relationship. My empathy was used against me... My compassion was incomplete because it did not include me."

Watch the rest of her piece here.

Perry's performance was soulful and impassioned, and the singer let the words take center stage as she sang in a long white gown and cape. The lyrics, which describes an experience with suicidal thoughts, were accompanied by human shadows on a large white screen behind Perry.

"It’s going to bring a lot of encouragement and freedom to those who hear my story and know that they are not alone in this," Axtell told People.

At an early Age, Axtell became a victim of human trafficking. As a 7-year-old, she was used by her nanny in sexual transactions while her mother was sick and in the hospital. When Axtell's mother returned home, the cycle of sexual violence caused by her caretaker was put to an end.

Axtell is now a writer, speaker and advocate on behalf of victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Her main goal is to stop the chain of supply and demand for females by educating people on the signs and the repercussion human trafficking and domestic violence can have on a community.

"There are approximately 100,000 who are exploited and trafficked in the U.S. every year," Axtell told KEYE TV, a local news station in Austin, Texas. "I see my trauma as a form of knowledge and that knowledge I have channeled into the power of compassion."

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