White House

President Barack Obama told celebrities gathered at the 57th annual Grammy Awards to use their influence to bring awareness to the problems of rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence against women.

“Artists have a unique power to change minds and attitudes, to get us thinking and talking about what matters,” Obama said during a brief video message played at the awards show. “All of us in our own lives have the power to set an example.”


Obama cited statistics that have shown one in five American women has been a victim of rape or attempted rape, and that one in four women has been the victim of some type of domestic violence.

“It’s not OK, and it has to stop,” Obama said, urging people to sign an anti-domestic violence pledge at ItsOnUs.org.

After Obama's video message, domestic-violence survivor Brooke Axtell delivered a speech before a hushed crowd and told of her own experience.


"If you are in a relationship with someone who does not honor and respect you, I want you to know that you are worthy of love,” she said. “Please reach out for help."

Twitter users applauded the president for his message. But they couldn’t help but also notice the conflicting signals the Grammys sent: After all, alleged abusers Chris Brown and R. Kelly were both up for awards last night.


Watch Obama's full PSA below:

Brett LoGiurato is the senior national political correspondent at Fusion, where he covers all things 2016. He'll give you everything you need to know about politics, with a healthy side of puns.