July 7 (UPI) -- Lindsay Ell is going public about her past experiences with sexual assault.
The 31-year-old country music singer said in an interview with People published Tuesday that she was raped at ages 13 and 21.
Ell said she was groomed and raped by a man from her church when she was 13. She told her parents about the assault when she was 20 and started therapy, but was raped again at 21 in a "different" situation.
Ell suffered from depression and anxiety after the second assault. She had a breakthrough moment nearly three years ago while visiting with young sexual assault survivors at Youth for Tomorrow in Virginia.
Ell reflects on her experience as a teenager in her new song "Make You," released Tuesday. She intentionally released the song on Global Forgiveness Day.
"Forgiving people in our past is a huge thing for whatever reason, but forgiving yourself is so important," the singer said. "There's an incredible amount of healing that can happen, and it can't happen until you can truly open up that forgiveness for your own heart."
"Part of me talking about it now is liberating the little 13-year-old Lindsay and the 21-year-old Lindsay," she added. "Pain is something we can let control us if we don't deal with it, but the minute you put your voice to a your story the shame has no power."
In "Make You," Ell sings about overcoming the guilt and anger she felt after being assaulted as a teenager.
"At twenty five, you'll find the strength to say it / And even though you can't change it / There's peace in sayin' it out loud," she sings.
Ell confirmed Tuesday on Instagram that she is partnering with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to launch the Make You Movement campaign to support at-risk youth and domestic abuse and sexual assault survivors. She will donate proceeds from "Make You" to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
"I have never shared this with you guys... but through healing we reach new levels of honesty with ourselves and what made us who we are," Ell said. "Our stories can help create hope and change for other survivors... and we can turn our pain into something good."
Ell will release her fifth studio album, Heart Theory, in August. She is known for the songs "Trippin' on Us," "Waiting on You," "Criminal" and "What Happens in a Small Town" with Brantley Gilbert.