Domestic violence is a difficult and sensitive topic to talk about. It is an issue that many people try to ignore, but it needs to be addressed. Domestic violence occurs in every socioeconomic class, race, religion, and culture. It can happen to anyone, regardless of age or gender. The purpose of this article is not to shock or disgust you, but to open your eyes and inspire you to take a stand against domestic violence. We have compiled a list of 10 powerful songs about domestic violence that will challenge your perceptions and make you think about this important issue in a new light.
10. At Least That’s What You Said – Wilco
At Least That’s What You Said is a song that was released in 2004. This song is about a woman who is in an abusive relationship. Wilco sings about how the woman tries to rationalize the abuse by telling herself that her partner must have a good reason for hitting her. According to Spinditty, the song is a gut-wrenching portrayal of how domestic violence can cause someone to doubt their sanity. This is one of the top tracks in the album A Ghost Is Born. This song reached number 29 on the Billboard top 100 charts. It has also been used as a soundtrack in the movie Precious.
9. Behind The Wall – Tracy Chapman
Behind The Wall is one of the first three songs of Chapman’s debut and self-titled album Tracy Chapman in the year 1988. This song is about a person who lives in an apartment next to a neighbor who is in constant fights with his wife. She explains that she gets awakened by loud noises of the husband beating up his wife. She steps up and decides to call law enforcement officers reporting the crime. The song reflects on the helplessness of people who suffer domestic violence behind closed doors. This song reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It has been used in movies like La Bamba, Philadelphia, and Thelma & Louise.
8. Luka – Suzanne Vega
Luka is a song about child abuse, told from the perspective of the child. It is a shocking and powerful song that will leave you feeling both disturbed and inspired. Luka is telling a neighbor who lives downstairs about the abuse he suffers at the hands of his father. He displays his bravery in deciding to speak out yet he had been prohibited never to tell a soul. This song was released in the year 1987 as the lead single in the album Solitude Standing. This song remains to be Suzanne’s highest-charting hit reaching the top-ten spot on Billboard Hot 100. It also won Vega a Grammy Award for the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. This song has been used as a soundtrack in TV shows like The Challenge.
7. He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss) – Grizzly Bear
This song is a cover of the 1963 Crystals song He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss). This song is about the abuse of a wife by her husband. It is described openly and honestly, making you understand the difficulty of a relationship when one partner or the other is in an abusive relationship. This song did well reaching number 78 on the Billboard Hot 100. This song has been featured in an episode of The TV series Weeds. It is a song that captures the emotional discord and melancholy of the relationship.
6. I’m OK – Christina Aguilera
Released in 2002 as the top single in the album Stripped. Christina sings about her journey as a domestic violence survivor. According to Diffuser, she narrates the story of her upbringing that was in an abusive household. Her father had anger issues and would violently beat up her mum and proceed to beat her and her sister as well. This song is Christina’s way of saying that she is a survivor and has made it out alive. This song has been used as a soundtrack in many domestic violence awareness commercials, films, TV shows, and movies such as The Guardian and Lifetime’s Stop Violence Against Women Campaign. It did well reaching number forty-three on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and winning a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
5. Never Again – Nickelback
Never Again is a song about a husband who gets drunk quite often and beats up his wife. It is told from the wife’s perspective. She talks about how she has never been able to leave him, despite all of the pain that he has caused her. It is written from the perspective of a child who witnesses this many times and is experiencing trauma. This song was released in the year 2001 and was the best-performing track on the album Silver Side Up. The song reached the top of the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100. It has been used as a soundtrack in several films, movies, and TV shows like Friday Night Lights and The Blind Side.
4. Alyssa Lies – Jason Michael Carroll
This song is based on a true story. It is about a young girl named Alyssa who named Alyssa and is being abused at home. Her friend in school notices her bruises and asks her about them and the sad part is that Alyssa lies about them and hides them. Since nobody notices any sign of abuse, she continues suffering in silence. One evening, the father overheard his daughter praying for Alyssa and decides to take action. The sad part is that the next day, he finds out that Alyssa is dead. This is a sad song that puts domestic violence and child abuse into perspective. This song was released in 2007 as a lead single in the album Waitin’ in the Country. This track was received very well by fans reaching number 5 on Billboard’s Top 100 Country Songs chart. This song has been used as a soundtrack in several movies, films, and TV shows like American Idol, One Tree Hill, and Friday Night Lights.
3. Because of You – Kelly Clarkson
This is a song about growing up with psychological abuse that results in a failed relationship. Clarkson narrates a story of a woman who is trying to break free from an emotionally abusive relationship. She is constantly subjected to put-downs, criticisms, and feeling unappreciated. In the long run, the woman gathers courage and says she has finally had enough and is ready to move on. According to Gemtracks, this song shed light on the psychological effects of domestic violence. It was released in 2004 and is one of the top tracks in the album Breakaway. It was a big hit that ranked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It has been nominated for various awards and has won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. It has featured as a soundtrack in several movies, films, and TV shows like American Idol, Glee, and The Vampire Diaries.
2. Kiss With a Fist – Florence + The Machine
Kiss With a Fist is a song about a couple who fight constantly because of their toxic relationship. They are causing bodily harm to each other and the situation is escalating to dangerous extents. The singer narrates a sad story about how this couple’s love has turned into something so dark and destructive. It shows how domestic violence destroys relationships and families. The song was released in 2008 as a collaboration by Florence and the Machine. It is one of the hit songs in the album Wild Child. This song has been used as a soundtrack in several movies like Jennifer’s Body, Never Back Down, and The Equalizer.
1. Warrior – Demi Lovato
Warrior is a song about a woman who experienced domestic violence at a young age which resulted in childhood trauma that changed her life forever. She recalls being compelled to grow up so fast by the situation at that moment. That left her bruised and broken for so long. However, she now looks at the bruises and scars she survived and describes herself as a warrior. The song shows how domestic violence affects the lives of children who are exposed to it. It also promotes the message that it is never too late to heal and become a survivor. This song was released in 2013 and is the best-performing song on the album Demi. This song was a big hit that reached the top ten in several countries including the US, UK, and Canada. It has been used as a soundtrack in several movies and TV shows like The Fault in Our Stars and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.