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.

This year's Speak Out! will be held on October 2nd, 2014. For more information, check out the Facebook event for this year's Speak Out!

Because this blog features stories of interpersonal and sexual violence, we offer this *trigger warning* as a way of caution.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Testimonials

Please click the comments link of this post to share your anonymous testimonial. A site administrator will post your testimonial after it has been submitted.

All posts must be moderated by an administrator. Please be patient and allow a site administrator time to post it.

Please do not include any personal information that would reveal your or anyone else's identity. We will allow submissions to include first names as long as they do not disclose any other information that could identify that person.

There is a character limit on comments. If you encounter this, please post your testimonial as two comments or email it to projectdinah@gmail.com. If you have difficulties posting your testimonial, please contact us.

Monday, November 24, 2014

I laughed. The first thing I remember when I look back is that is that I laughed. The morning after, after his friends who I have never met came and retrieved him from my room (which to this day makes me queasy), I called my friend and told her what had happened over the past few hours. How I had wanted him to come over, how I was the slightest bit tipsy, how we had started off our evening with the cursed ‘what are you doing?’ text. How when he came over he reeked of alcohol and was bragging about how he beat up some guy who looked at his friend wrong. I still ask myself, what was I thinking? Was I so into experiencing college that I was willing to do this for that so called fun random hook up? I was. However I didn’t know exactly what I had gotten myself into. I thought that if we made out a bit and cuddled I would feel satisfied. Mutually beneficial, yeah? Instead, what I got was fear, pain, and feeling completely and utterly out of control. My no’s went unheard. His pleas for sex and more were denied over and over again, but he continued to press on. I knew he had had several partners and I wasn’t comfortable with his penis being anywhere near my downstairs and I had to fight, continuously, to keep that from happening. We settled on oral. There are still things that I am not comfortable with to this day, that men who are completely innocent have had give up (with no complaints). He put his fingers in me. Despite my clear “NO. STOP.” He put his finger in a part of me that I never wanted a man to touch. He did it twice. Both times I had to force him to stop. Both times I justified as him being drunk and me ‘leading him on’. I was so humiliated that I had to laugh as I confessed to my friend. I was the one who felt guilty and dirty. I pulled my panties back on and fell into a twisted sleep, afraid that he would try in the middle of the night, again, to pressure me into something that I explicitly wasn’t comfortable with. I laughed. I told my friend and I laughed. I spent two years feeling shame, feeling like I had to make light of a situation that was anything but. I spent two years casually avoiding him. Of fielding off his “Do you hate me?” text. Two years of being embarrassed of the rumors he spread to our mutual friends, but being too afraid to tell the truth. Three years later, I still feel shame. I still wonder if I’m being silly, or dramatic.

It wasn’t rape. I asked him to come over. I laughed.

But why then do I still feel dirty? Why then do I still cringe in certain situations? Why can a finger and a few ignored NOs have such an affect on a person? And most importantly, why are things like this still happening and why are we blaming ourselves? I laughed. It took years for me to even realize how wrong he was. I laughed. I experienced sexual assault and I laughed. 

Please label this as anonymous but you can use it how you wish. Thanks for providing this space.

Monday, October 6, 2014

I never said no.

I never said anything that I can remember, in fact. I might have even said yes—I was so intoxicated that I can’t remember. All I remember is suddenly ending up naked in his bed and suddenly he's inside me. I couldn’t feel anything, I felt trapped inside of my own body. I didn’t want it, but I couldn’t break through the intoxication to express it. I hate myself for getting so drunk. If I didn’t drink so much, I wouldn’t have let it happen. If I wasn’t drunk, it wouldn’t have happened.

I can’t call it rape, I can’t even call it sexual violence, because it wasn’t violent. I don’t have the authority to call it that. To him, for all he knew, it was consensual. I have no idea how drunk he was. It was just a drunken mistake. So why does it make me want to cry every time I think about it? Every time I relive the fuzzy details? Every time my friends talk about the guy “I had sex with.” The guy my roommate knows, who’s a “good guy,” who “would never do anything to you.” So what did he do?

I can’t claim to be a survivor, because I was never in danger. I can’t claim to be a victim, because I don’t know that he was a perpetrator. Apparently he bought me a drink, but I was already too drunk to remember taking it. Maybe he should have known better, maybe he was trying to take advantage of me, but how come my roommate who was with us didn’t do anything to stop it? She was sober. He wasn’t. How sober wasn’t he?

I wish I could tell a better story. I wish I could remember the details. I wish I hadn’t gotten so drunk. I wish I knew what to call what he did. I wish it hadn’t happened. But I’m afraid to tell anyone else about it, because the very reason it happened is the reason so many wouldn’t understand why it hurts so much when I was too drunk to feel it. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I want to thank Project Dinah for hosting Speak Out.

When I was a first year, I walked past the Pit when Speak Out was happening, and stopped to listen to one or two stories before leaving.

Sophomore year, I planned to go the event, and stayed the whole time.

Junior year, I was finally comfortable submitting my story to the blog, but didn’t go to Speak Out because I wasn’t ready to hear my story out loud.

Senior year, I went and was so happy to have found this amazing, supportive community. When the mic was open to everyone to speak, I wanted to get up and say what I’m typing now, but was still scared to attribute my story to myself. That’s why I wanted to post it here, anonymously.

So, I just want to thank you for this event, and this community. Even if I’m not ready to say my story out loud, being able to post it to this blog, and knowing this event exists, has helped me so much. I am so grateful for Project Dinah and the work they do.

Y’all are amazing. 
I'm a survivor of rape. It happened at a college party when I was a senior in high school. It took me months to start feeling "normal" emotions again, and even longer to learn how to have sex without feeling like falling apart afterwards. I healed. I still think about it every once in a while. But, this isn't completely about my own assault. 

A year ago, my sister just brought it up sort of casually. She mentioned this creep who was my age; he tricked her into coming into his house, saying they were gonna get food. All of his friends were in on it, and there was this whole plan for him to "get laid". I thought it was a joke, but then she said “Wait. This is serious.” It was just my sister and this guy in his house. He tried to have sex with her. He kept touching her down there, and she kept saying stop, because that's what you're supposed to do, right? We both thought that saying "no" and "stop" would be enough, because that's what everyone says, right? We were taught no means no. No means no. We both thought everyone knew this until it happened to us. She had to sleep over at his house because she didn't know where she was. She told me "Man, I've been feeling awful lately. 3 am felt awful to wake up to." She sent me poems she wrote. Eventually, she healed, but like me, she still thinks about it sometimes. 


That shit will stay around for the rest of our lives. But I've almost forgotten the way his hands felt on my body, in a way that made me want to never be touched again, and I've stopped really thinking about the look my friend gave me when he brought me plan b at 7 am the next day, and I've mostly forgotten how that rape joke I heard weeks later felt like a stab in my chest. I think we will be okay.