Welcome to the SpeakOut! Blog

Break the silence that surrounds sexual assault, sexual harassment, interpersonal violence, relationship abuse, stalking, hate crimes, and identity-based violence. Share your story here on our anonymous blog.

To speak about an experience with any form of interpersonal violence is difficult, but it is also empowering. Breaking the silence reduces shame and helps others to speak out about their own experiences.

End the shame. Be empowered. Speak Out!

Thank you for Speaking Out! We would love to get your permission to share your testimonial. If you would like to allow your testimonial to be used at a later Speak Out!, please let us know by making a comment or a note in your testimonial.

We are holding our first fall Speak Out! in October 26th, 2017 from 7-9 pm in The Pit. For more information, check our Facebook page.

Because this blog features stories of interpersonal and sexual violence, we offer this *content warning* as a way of caution. We also ask that you do not reproduce any of the content below, as the authors of these personal stories are anonymous, and cannot give consent for their stories to appear anywhere other than this blog or at a Project Dinah-led SpeakOut event.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Testimonials

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Me too. 

I haven’t posted that on Facebook yet, but me too. I used to be very open about being a survivor, but now I tend to not disclose. I’m worried now that people see me as the domestic violence girl or the one who’s always harping about consent. I am worried people don’t see me as the girl I was before the assault. I am also worried that I am not the girl I was. I’m now the girl with PTSD, the girl with the “crazy ex”, and the girl who won’t walk home alone at night and always carries her pepper spray. Even though it wasn’t an “attack” or by a stranger. It was a guy I loved, maybe still do love?… I’m now the girl who was in love with a guy who beat me, raped me, stalked me, and tried to kill me. I worry that is who I am when I tell people I am a survivor. I’m worried that is all they will see. Do you see the cool shit I do? Do you see I am funny, smart, and driven? Do you see who I am, beyond what happened to me? I am not what happened to me. I commend the bravery of those that were able to post “me too”. But I don’t want to out myself anymore. I feel like every time I tell someone I’m a survivor it feels like a confession. It feels like I’m admitting to something wrong that I did. It makes me feel dirty. I don’t want to feel like that but I don’t know how to feel. I just don’t want to be the “survivor” anymore, I just really want to be me. 

I was sexually assaulted and impregnated, only to miscarry my twin boys under the stress of persecution by so-called friends, failing my classes and living in a toxic environment - all in my first year and it took until my sophomore year to acknowledge how deeply I had been hurt. I graduate soon, I hope one day to come out but for now, I am more than happy to be healing and surrounded with people who believe my story and support me.
I was raped when I was thirteen years old, by an older teenager. It took me forever to come to terms with the fact that I was raped, as I was confused, and almost romanticized the rape in my own head. Being only thirteen, I thought, maybe that is just what sex is like... he must love me. Despite convincing myself of these things, I knew deep down that what happened was wrong, but I blamed myself. I had an instinct, and I went against it. I still struggle coming to terms with just what happened, being so young and in such a public place. The rape was awful, but the emotional toll was even worse. 
I remember laying, cold on the sidewalk as I gazed up at the stars, having a complete "out of body experience". How long have I been here? How did I get to this point? These were the questions that ran through my head. I still don't remember exact details of the rape itself, as my soul completely left me that night, it was almost like looking down on myself and feeling nothing. I remember hearing him groan and grunt and being so confused as to how something so horrible can happen in a public place such as a sidewalk. Has he done this before? Is he not scared of getting caught? I was in my last year of middle school, and I shouldn't have been "dating" in the first place, but my friends were, and I finally convinced my mom to let me go out on a date. If she knew what had happened, she'd never let me go on a date again, because I know just allowing me to go was against my mother's own instincts. However, I went with a few friends, as it should've been a group date however the group quickly split up, leaving me with a guy I had been set up with but hardly knew. Still, being only 13, I felt flattered that he'd even want to stay since he was a senior in high school. 
Quickly, everything changed. He didn't want to do, "date stuff" it seemed. No movie, no bookstore, no stores. He wanted to walk around outside, but I remember thinking it was a pretty night, so why not. But that should've been my first clue. Next, he didn't want to walk, he wanted to sit, but not at the tables near the rest of the world, alone on this sidewalk, beside this closed building. He complained his knee hurt, and needed to sit right there. I felt the need to accommodate and went against my instincts doing so, so I sat, but I did not stand up as the same girl. I don't remember what happened next sequentially, I just remember him on top of me, his hands in my pants, and him ripping my jeans off. Why didn't I scream? Say something? Did I say anything? I was frozen. I no longer felt what was happening... instead I saw stars, heard crickets, but felt nothing. 
When he was done I assume, he got off of me, and I was bleeding pretty bad. He blamed it on the fact I was a virgin and that's why he usually doesn't go on dates with virgins. But he grabbed my hand and stood me up, put his arm around me, and walked me to the meet up location where the rest of my friends were waiting. What had just happened? He is acting like it is so normal? Is this normal?
After that date, he made it clear he didn't want a relationship, but I was confused and tried to get him to stay interested in me because I didn't want to come to terms with what actually happened. I wanted him to say he loved me and he was so attracted to me he couldn't resist. But none of that happened. He got what he want, and then he went on to ignore me. I have carried the guilt around for years, for not reporting him, as it was obvious he had done this before. But I was scared. I kept silent for 5 more years, until I went to get an IUD and found out I had an STD and therefore couldn't get one until it was treated. Why would I have an STD... but I'd never even had sex or been in a realtionship, how is that possible? Then I realized... he took something, and gave something.
Its been just over 8 years now. 8 years ago I was out with my friends, at one of the first weekends back from Christmas break. I was the designated driver for the night out. We were at house party, dancing and having fun. Then there was a boy...I was single. I figured we could dance, have fun and kick start the start of a new semester. He started to kiss me and told me I was beautiful. He was drunk and I was uncomfortable. The house was crowded, and it was stuffy inside so I decided to go outside to get some air. He wasn't far behind me. This wasn't going to be anything, it wasn't going to happen to me. I was strong, I could get away. But I couldn't, and it did.

He pushed me off the porch, and around to the side of the house. He pinned me against the side of the house and he started to touch me, putting his hand down my pants. I still thought, no way is this happening. I said I don't want to have sex. I remember saying that. I remember asking him to stop. He just pushed me harder against the house, and it was so cold. I didn't scream. I didn't yell. Maybe I couldn't, I don't know. I felt his belt scratching into my hip and for whatever reason I remember that hurting the most. Maybe its because I see those scars every day. Who knows. He left me there, cold and alone, on the side of the house, in the cold. I still don't have the courage to call it what it was, but I know better. 

I went back inside the house, got my coat and the keys to my friends car. I drove my friends back home, and I said nothing. I showered that night and said nothing. I didn't get out of bed the next day, but still I said nothing. I've let a handful of people in, to know a part of my story. But still lack the courage to call it what it was. It haunts me this time every year, where I feel small and betrayed by my own body and mental strength that I thought I had. Of the people who know, its not that they don't care, they just don't know what to say. Im surrounded by so many women who have the courage to speak up for themselves, and to share their story without shame, and I can't understand why I can't.