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 spring Speak Out! on April 16th, 2018 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.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I was 11. He was my boyfriend, he was supposed to care about me. He should have showed his affection in that 13 year old way by holding my hand or giving me a peck on the cheek. But he never did either. Instead he used his short temper to keep me from ever disagreeing so he could use my body. I wanted so badly to please him, to keep his affection. My biggest fear was that he would abandon me like my parents emotionally had.

They were too busy to notice I was being abused. Someone else must have known. But no one said anything— not the librarians who thought we were spending a little too much time together, not the lifeguards who must have seen him forcing me to touch him or expose myself in the pool, not even his mom who knew we were in the office bathroom together the day he raped me.

I didn’t know what was happening that day, but he had decided that we were going to have sex. I didn’t know what was going to happen when he let me choose the closet or the bathroom. The whole time I just laid there naked on the cold tile bathroom floor of his dad’s office, too scared to say no or even question what was happening. But that doesn’t mean I wanted it or that it was OK. Before he started, he told me not to worry about getting pregnant, that he would pay all the doctor bills. After that, I just accepted that girlfriends were supposed to do that sort of thing, and tried to figure out when I would have to get my first period by to know I wasn’t pregnant.

I stopped going to the pool after that Tuesday early in August 1999. I could avoid the places it happened, but not the effect it had on me. It took me nearly three years, two suicide attempts, and countless scars on my arms to admit that what happened was wrong. Even then, it took me several years to call it was it is. It was not just sex that I didn’t want. It was rape and it was his fault.

What he did still hurts me, but I’m no longer his victim. I am a survivor. It is a part of who I am, but it doesn’t define me anymore. I don’t think about it every day, or even every week. It has changed and shaped me in ways I will probably never know, but it has also made me a more caring, empathetic, and passionate person. And he can never take that away from me.

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