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

It has now been barely two years since I was raped, and I’m not ready to forgive them. That night, that next morning, that day in the hospital, that next sleepless night, that numbing realization that it wasn’t just the worst nightmare I’d ever had, that morning I confessed to my brothers and my parents, the months of dealing with the police and my attorney, the months of seeing my multiple attackers face-to-face walking freely around campus as if they were not criminals, the corrupt judicial trial that ended in more pain and disbelief, and leaving the school from which I had wanted to receive my degree. No, I am not ready to forgive them, and I don’t think I ever will be.

It is impossible to forgive the animals who took advantage of me, and with one power-hungry move, made me a victim. I won’t forgive them because they raped me and called it sex; sex is something between two consenting adults. This was not sex; this was violence. It was rape. They raped me. How dare anyone say this was “sex”? I won’t forgive them because they not only made me suffer, but they made everyone I cared about suffer, too -- my mother, my father, my brothers, my sister-in-law, my best friends. I won’t forgive them because they took what wasn’t theirs to take. But the one person I have forgiven is myself. My own forgiveness has been one of the most important parts of my healing process.

Every day I feel a little bit better and a little bit stronger. I still have bad days, though none are as bad as the ones right after my assault. I still have bad dreams, though they are becoming more infrequent. I still think about the “what ifs,” though I can’t imagine my life differently now. I’m still livid that nothing was done to keep them from raping another woman, though I’ve accepted that the lack of justice doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. I’m still outraged that it happened to me, though I’m using my experience to improve my life rather than to let it ruin it.

I am not a victim. I am a survivor. I will not let this get me down. I was raped. I forgive myself, and this experience will only make me stronger.

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