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, 2016 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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I was never sexually assaulted. It didn't happen to me. And for that I am eternally grateful.

But I have something to say about it. It makes me angry. It makes me angry that it could be me. Not because I'm a woman or a college student or because I live in a dorm. But because I am a person and sexual assault happens lots of people.

This isn't something gray. There's no moral relativism here. There aren't many sides of the story, someone else's shoes to try on, or another point of view. Rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, interpersonal violence. Whatever name you want to give to its wrong. And it needs to stop now.

No means no. Women deserve respect. Sex shouldn't be used as a weapon.

But if it was or is. And no didn't mean no and you didn't get respect and you are the survivor of a sexual assault, tell someone. Because the next biggest problem to the prevalence of sexual violence is the silence.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

There is no way i can put a single title on this emotion....so here:


More than once in one night
tried to fight
verbally,
then physically,
then mentally
until
he left.

But--number two then came;
again, didn’t know his name
stunned-
i finally
gave up
the fighting.

Number one now watched,
since he could add another notch-
me.
his sly smile burned
as he went back
to another random girl.

I’m totally sober,
but his hands are still all over
“you’re hot. what’s your number?”
he smirked
boring holes
in my eyes.

My what? my number?
are you fucking kidding me???
it’s OK, just breathe;
i tell myself:
it’s now
or never.

I took a chance.
RAN. No backwards glance
ended up in some restroom;
couldn’t think,
head down
hands on the sink.

Roommate was somewhere
was too drunk to care,
or know,
or realize
what just happened
to her best friend.

Had no phone,
no place to call home,
no car that night,
no names to report;
can't even remember their faces,
only their eyes.

That time has passed
but this feeling has lasted;
i write this, fully
opposing the popular saying.
i now know that
time does not heal all wounds.
There is no way i can put a single title on this emotion....so here:


More than once in one night
tried to fight
verbally,
then physically,
then mentally
until
he left.

But--number two then came;
again, didn’t know his name
stunned-
i finally
gave up
the fighting.

Number one now watched,
since he could add another notch-
me.
his sly smile burned
as he went back
to another random girl.

I’m totally sober,
but his hands are still all over
“you’re hot. what’s your number?”
he smirked
boring holes
in my eyes.

My what? my number?
are you fucking kidding me???
it’s OK, just breathe;
i tell myself:
it’s now
or never.

I took a chance.
RAN. No backwards glance
ended up in some restroom;
couldn’t think,
head down
hands on the sink.

Roommate was somewhere
was too drunk to care,
or know,
or realize
what just happened
to her best friend.

Had no phone,
no place to call home,
no car that night,
no names to report;
can't even remember their faces,
only their eyes.

That time has passed
but this feeling has lasted;
i write this, fully
opposing the popular saying.
i now know that
time does not heal all wounds.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hey boys. Please remember that your date-rape-drug idea might give you a few minutes of pleasure, but the girl you are using will be affected for a lifetime.
Imagine feeling like a piece of meat- a big dead piece of meat- with a monster doing things to you.
Imagine being locked in a dream and not being able to move.
Imagine thinking you are out for a nice evening moonlight walk and then hours later realizing you just saw hell.
Imagine a lifetime of trauma that prevents you from trusting all men completely.. even ones you know are trustworthy.
I know who my attacker was. I was not completely knocked out..so remember that too.. you might just end up in jail or at least with the reputation of being a date rapist.
Its just bad.. for everyone. It's so far reaching... it goes so much further than just you and that person. It reaches to everyone you know and everyone the victim knows.
This is 2007. There is no need for barbarianism.
When I worked as a nurse practitioner for many years, I developed radar for the patient for whom the prospect of a pelvic exam set off overwhelming panic. I suspect most of these patients were the victims of childhood sexual abuse. I routinely asked everyone about violence, and there was a question on every intake form about childhood abuse, but not everyone remembers or is ready to talk about it. An adolescent just wants to get the pelvic exam over, get their pills, get out. They may be under pressure to have sex with their boyfriend, and may be only dimly aware of unresolved sexual and power issues. I once had a collegeage patient who denied abuse every year, yet when it came time for the insertion of the vaginal speculum, she seemed to drift away. No matter how sensitively done, her eyes would glaze over, she would become unresponsive to my questions, turn her face to the wall and begin a series of deep, croupy coughs that lasted throughout the speculum exam and the manual pelvic exam. I thought with bitter admiration of the little girl, fighting it the best she could with the negative vaginal pressure from the deep coughing, learning to dissociate herself from the awful reality. Her coping armamentarium was maladaptive for normal adult life, but it had gotten her through her desperate childhood situation. Since she never responded to my gentle inquiries about abuse, I just showed her a brochure with the phone number of the rape crisis center and tucked in with her other papers. Whoever knows when or where kindness and sensitivity will bear real fruit and lead to a healthy adulthood?

Worse Than Algebra

Summer had long past. Even the fresh smell and crinkle of the autumn leaves had long since disappeared. The floors were covered in an inch of dirt and yesterday’s assignments. Pencils scratched notebook paper and rumors ran rampant. A girl wearing a letter jacket covered in honors patches, cleats slung over her shoulder, stands with members of her soccer team in the hallway.
“Will you come with me?” uttered a stern voice.
“Where?” she answered mockingly, spinning in the direction of the voice. “Oh, I mean yes,” she replied, her tone changing as her eyes meet his face.
The walk seemed longer than the distance being covered. The rubber of his shined shoes squeaked on the tile floor as they made their way down the hall. She looked down at her own shoes, dirty and worn.
“Please shut the door,” he said motioning with his hand. “Do you know why you are here?”
“No,” she answered, shocking him.
“You haven’t heard anything?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“First, you must understand that this is a serious matter. I need to ask you some questions and I may need to record your answers,” his voice reminded consistent, but his eyes softened. “Do you understand?”
“Yes, but I am still a bit confused.” She watched her reflection in his shiny buttons. Her tangled hair and wrinkled sweater made her look like a small child, especially in comparison to his pressed uniform.
“I don’t mean to scare you, but this has to be done to protocol.”
“Yes, I understand, but what is this about?”
“We have heard some rumors,” he said staring her in the eyes, “about you.”
“Rumors about what? ” she asked out loud, questioning herself.
“I have to ask you some questions regardless of whether or not I think they are true,” he continued ignoring her question. “Some of them may offend you, that is not my intention, but I am required to ask you, ” he said quickly, as if he wished he hadn’t said it all.
She paused caught in her own thoughts, “ok.”
“Regarding your coach, has he ever… ”
She froze, her ears only choosing to hear portions of the phrase. “No!” she answered, nearly yelling, before he had even finished.
“I know this is difficult, I don’t like having to do this either, but I have to,” he wanted to comfort her, but acknowledged his job. “Are you sure there is nothing you need to tell me?”
“No!” she said abruptly. “Nothing,” she repeated.
“That is an official statement- you understand that, correct?”

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rape. A horrible crime.
Rape. Loss of innocence.
Rape. Didn't have a choice.
Rape. Nobody heard my voice.