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

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

It was a frat party. Don't tell me I was dumb for drinking the pj, because I've already heard it and I already know it. I'd been to this house a few times, and knew some of the brothers as great guys. I felt comfortable here, but I shouldn't have. It was alumni weekend, and the place was crowded. I split up from my friends to ask a brother, one that I didn't know but had seen around, to show me to a restroom other than the one that was overflowing with people (and a questionable-looking floor). He took me somewhere, saying something to another brother on the way there. I was lead down a hallway on the main floor to a restroom, and turned to say thanks to the brother who lead me when I was pushed backwards into the room. Before the door was shut and locked, the brother I'd asked came in - along with two other guys I'd never seen. They started saying shit. About how a girl doesn't ask a brother for the bathroom unless she's a slut. About how they were alumni and they 'ruled this bitch.' Whether they were talking about me or the frat is unclear. 

I told them I just wanted to go to the restroom while they pulled their polos out of their pants. I told them I wasn't a whore while they unbuckled their belts. I told them my friends would be looking for me as they pushed down their pants. And I told them I didn't want it as they pinned me to the floor and shoved their body parts inside of me. 

I'd sworn when I was younger that I wouldn't be another statistic. I'd been molested by my grandfather throughout my childhood and I'd heard that people who were abused previously were more likely to be abused again. As I lay there, one man holding my wrists, another my feet, while the third... my mind swirled, wondering if it was a nightmare, like I so often have. I thought about the bathroom - how white it was, a brother had left their toiletry bag on the counter, the toilet needed cleaning. I tried to think of everything except what was happening. I left the room after they were done with me - throat hoarse, clothes and hair a mess, face smeared with tears and other things. They'd taken me, taken my ability to say no, and taken my dignity. They'd degraded me and ruined me. 

I didn't tell the police. I told my close friends, and they tried to get me to, but after the court cases with my granddad and the humiliation, anger, and depression I felt when he was acquitted of every charge against him, I didn't feel like going through that again. I didn't want to feel like a monkey in a cage again. 

I haven't gotten over it completely. I've had breakdowns while intoxicated. I've been irrationally frightened of men for next to no reason - other than that I've been physically harmed too many times by the male sex to trust anyone fully without years of proof that they aren't going to hurt me. I'm not one of those people who goes around telling their story to incriminate the Greek system or men in general. I'm a member of the Greek system and I still know a lot of great men. But I don't feel safe at Carolina anymore. Not just because of being raped. But because of the nonchalant - or worse - victim-blaming attitudes that I have encountered. Rape culture exists, and it exists here. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

We weren’t even dating. We had been an on again off again couple my freshman year of high school. He was older than me and I thought that was cool and that made me someone to have someone older like me. He had randomly called me one day and asked me if I wanted to hang out. I was all for it--anything to get away from home (my parents were in the process of dragging out a long and bitter divorce. They were still living together at this point). I just thought we were going to drive around and talk, which we did…initially. I wasn’t paying attention to where we were going, just spilling my guts out to him about how miserable I was. Next thing I knew we were pulling into some sort of truck holding area (a year or so later I discovered where he took me). We were talking and next thing I knew he was telling me how much he missed me and was trying to pull me closer to him. I was guarded since we weren’t dating and kind of just ignored him. He begged me for oral. I told him no. He pulled my head down to his crotch. I sprung back up and tell him no again. He told me he wasn’t taking me anywhere (aka back home) until he got what he wanted. I felt so trapped. After a while and after more repeated requests, I did what he asked and he drove me home. We never went out again needless to say. I felt disgusted with myself. Maybe if I had waited him out longer none of it would have ever happened. I should have known what he wanted calling me up like that. I was na├»ve and stupid. I told my mom what happened. She used it as ammunition against my father; lying to him and telling him that I said he was cut from the same cloth as that guy (I’m not a fan of my father at all but I never said that). I only learned about that after my father confronted me about it. I felt betrayed all over again, this time by my mother who I told that to in confidence and she swore she wouldn’t tell anyone. Then my issue disappeared and they argued amongst themselves again. A few months (probably closer to a year) after it happened I get a call from the guy. Evidently he had been at my dad’s house and my dad had told him how that was unacceptable behavior (how you have a civil conversation about that, I’m not sure). The guy called me and cussed me out and said he did nothing wrong and that I was a willing participate. All I could say was “no means no” and I hung up the phone. I still had to see him around school and unfortunately he hung out with the same people I did, so I saw him even after he graduated. I’d like to say I’m over it. I’m not over it, I’ve just moved past it. I still think about it from time to time which makes me mad at myself to even let him and that situation enter my mind. It’s almost like he still has the control, even when I haven’t spoken/seen him in years.

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.