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, 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.
After surviving a very traumatic assault the fall semester of my freshman year, I dissociated myself from a lot of what happened, but I would get flashbacks of this stranger at a party forcing his dick into my mouth. I heard the sounds of his moans and remember the feeling of not being able to escape, held down by him and by the inability to escape what happened. I thought I moved on, but I remember seeing him on the P2P and walking back to his dorm with him, where he assaulted me again. I was supposed to get closure and talk, but it just brought all of the pain to the surface. 

It was at this point where I started looking to other survivors. I learned more about the resources I had and I got better. I dealt with my pain and I got stronger. 

The next year, I was assaulted again, once by an acquaintance and a few times by a close friend. The semester continued on, and so did I. My friend stalked me and harassed me, but I was forced to keep him in my life. I tried to tell him I didn’t have feelings for him, but he told me that he I shouldn't let other things get in the way of our relationship. But I didn’t let all of his behavior trouble me, because I was bulletproof. 

For Halloween, I’m a queen. I go to Franklin Street with my friends and end up at a party where I meet Wolverine. I agree to go back with him. Little do I know, my drink was spiked.

He practically carries me to what he claims is his house. We go upstairs and start kissing in the middle of some lounge area. He forces his fingers up me, like he was trying to stab me with them. “Stop! It hurts” and he agrees to stop, but the next thing I know he’s jammed his fingers up me again. This back and forth goes on for a while, until I can’t take it anymore. I have to run into the bathroom, because I’m in so much pain. 

Eventually, I'm ready to leave after what seems like a lifetime and I go to get my phone, but it’s dead. I ask him to let me charge it somewhere, but he’s too busy playing a game. I take my crown and phone and leave. I start walking in some direction, but I honestly don’t know where I’m going. By some miracle, I find my way to Franklin Street, but I’m livid at this point. I couldn’t accept that it had happened again after I survived so much. I think to myself that I could have prevented this. I finally see people and some guys attempt to catcall me, but I tell them that if they even dare to look at me that I’d chop off their dicks. I felt like I was going to explode. I regain some strength after this and convince myself that I dealt with it. I see a familiar face and walk back with them to my dorm

I arrive at my room and overhear my friends comforted that everything is okay. I knew I couldn’t tell them, so I charged my phone and texted the only person I knew wasn’t going to feel bad, my stalker. I let myself be comforted by the person who was sucking the life out of me, but I thought I didn’t have anyone else. The night ends and I move on, because that’s all I can do. For weeks after, it hurt to pee and it hurt to use a tampon for months after, but eventually the pain went away.

I’m sure everybody would be shocked to know that all of this happened to me. How can one person go through so much and function normally? I don’t really have a great answer to that. Somehow, I did it. Being assaulted as a survivor and an ally was the hardest and most shameful experience for me, but I think I’ve moved on enough that I can accept that I didn’t have a bearing in what happened to me. This stranger hurt me and I didn’t do anything to deserve that. 

I’m putting myself back together again. I’m happier than I’ve been in years, even though I’ve lost so much along the way, but I don’t let it bring me down. It’s been hard. There is no denying that, but I wouldn’t change it. All of this pain has helped mold me into this beautiful and compassionate person. I found this love for people that touches the core of my soul. My life is so clear to me and I know good things are on the way.