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!

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We are holding our first fall Speak Out! in October 26th, 2017 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.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Testimonials

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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its been just over 8 years now. 8 years ago I was out with my friends, at one of the first weekends back from Christmas break. I was the designated driver for the night out. We were at house party, dancing and having fun. Then there was a boy...I was single. I figured we could dance, have fun and kick start the start of a new semester. He started to kiss me and told me I was beautiful. He was drunk and I was uncomfortable. The house was crowded, and it was stuffy inside so I decided to go outside to get some air. He wasn't far behind me. This wasn't going to be anything, it wasn't going to happen to me. I was strong, I could get away. But I couldn't, and it did.

He pushed me off the porch, and around to the side of the house. He pinned me against the side of the house and he started to touch me, putting his hand down my pants. I still thought, no way is this happening. I said I don't want to have sex. I remember saying that. I remember asking him to stop. He just pushed me harder against the house, and it was so cold. I didn't scream. I didn't yell. Maybe I couldn't, I don't know. I felt his belt scratching into my hip and for whatever reason I remember that hurting the most. Maybe its because I see those scars every day. Who knows. He left me there, cold and alone, on the side of the house, in the cold. I still don't have the courage to call it what it was, but I know better.

I went back inside the house, got my coat and the keys to my friends car. I drove my friends back home, and I said nothing. I showered that night and said nothing. I didn't get out of bed the next day, but still I said nothing. I've let a handful of people in, to know a part of my story. But still lack the courage to call it what it was. It haunts me this time every year, where I feel small and betrayed by my own body and mental strength that I thought I had. Of the people who know, its not that they don't care, they just don't know what to say. Im surrounded by so many women who have the courage to speak up for themselves, and to share their story without shame, and I can't understand why I can't.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Everyone says that i should feel lucky. Everyone says call yourself a survivor because that is what you are. Everyone says don't worry one day you wont even think about it anymore. Everyone says you can get through this you are strong. Well they are wrong. They don't know what this feels like. No matter how many times i try to explain. They don't flinch when a man they don't know really well touches them. They don't get paranoid whenever a man is near them on the bus or at the grocery store. They are not afraid of having sex with someone. That's because i have gone through something they haven't. I was raped twice when i was 17 years old. I don't remember much about the timing. Things are blurry and foggy. I suppressed the memory for so long that i forgot details. I do remember how i felt. What he did. And how it effects me now. I remember being at his house because i thought he was a friend. I remember getting bored so we made out for a bit. He said he wanted to take a shower. So he left the room but i wanted more so i followed. When i got in the shower with him that's when things got violent. He took me by the arms and forced me against the wall of the shower. I tried to speak but I couldn't. I tired to say stop i tried to say no. In my head i was thinking what is happening? Then he did something that i will never ever be able to forget. He forced himself inside my butt. He kept going even after i screamed from pain. He didn't stop. So i went limp i let him continue. He took me by my neck and pulled me out of the shower and through me on the floor. Where he continued until he was done. He made things happen that i never knew could happen and i just waited. When he was done he cleaned up the mess on the floor and went back to his room. I put my clothes on and left. I was confused. I didn't understand what was happening to me. I never told anyone what happened on that day until last year. I was scared. I wasn't even sure if it was actually rape considering i followed him into the bathroom and I originally consented. It happened again a few months later with a different man. That too i also kept secret.  I want every woman out there who has been through what i have to know you are not alone. You can get through this. It may take time and it will be hard but you can do it. Don't do what i did. Don't suppress the memory. Don't hide it. Don't take it all on yourself. Find someone you love and trust and they will help guide you. You have the strength 

Anonymous said...

How can you share a story that is so long, so powerful it has engulfed your entire existence since the day it happened? At age 14, I thought I was in love. It started by my incredibly naive, innocent, freshmen-self kissing an older, attractive junior boy. It was perfect... until it wasn't.
I was pressured every time we were together. "Please, baby, suck me off. I know you don't want to have sex, but oral is different." "No." was my response. And "no" stuck, at least for a few months. When we were together, he twisted my words and spit them out again. Months later, I was finally convinced it was nothing.
Next was the pressure to have sex. We went back and forth in arguments. I was 14. I didn't even know how to give a blow job until he made me. Sex was a word so far off in my own dictionary, but I knew the more I fought, the more he was fueled. I felt less every day. I was ice. He was fire.
One day, it wasn't about me giving in anymore. It was about me being a body he could fuck. It was about us making plans to see each other, but if sex wasn't involved, then he wouldn't come. Sex was all he cared about. I resisted, but when I did, the violence started.
I remember the day I ignited a bomb inside of him.
"Quit, E, you're hurting me."
"No, you like it."
"No, I don't. I want you to stop. If you aren't stopping, then you are RAPING ME. This is rape."
"Okay, fine. I am raping my girlfriend. I can't rape my own girlfriend, bitch. Get the fuck out of here."
At 14 years old, I went from complete innocence to not even considering myself a real person anymore. I felt like I was alive to be fucked. Wow, this is what love is, I thought. It isn't that great after all.
I felt nothing. I retracted away from the world. WHY WON'T ANYONE HELP ME? I was screaming for help and no one was there.

Anonymous said...

Cont.
It got worse. He isolated me. My friends were now my enemies. I had no one to turn to. My parents were oblivious, they just thought I was rebelling. I stopped eating. I stopped caring. I stopped living.
I am an independent person, even in that relationship. I became numb, raw, broken, but that never meant I stopped fighting. I would fight for the right to have my clothes on, but he always won. He grabbed me and squeezed. He made sure I knew he was in control.
I remember getting out of the shower and looking into the mirror. My breasts, my hips, my stomach--they were all camouflaged by colors of black, blue, green, and purple bruises. Some were fresh and some were old. This was my reality. I told myself, "Break up with him. This isn't how it's supposed to be." Of course that wasn't the first time I had wanted to, but I was terrified. He could do anything. But in that moment, I knew I was about to take my life back.
Leaving him was hard because he wouldn't leave me. He would cuss me out in the school hallways, yell at others and told them I was a whore. I believed him. I was his whore. I was guilty. It was my fault. He sent me pictures of him cutting himself. He threatened to take his own life if I didn't get back together with him. But I was done. I told authorities and I told my parents. That was the one puzzle piece I gave them. I held so much anger against so many people because no one knew. No one saw my bruises. No one noticed I wasn't eating. No one noticed I felt dead inside. No one came to my rescue. I was in a war all alone and still no one to this day knows what I went through, not until all of you.
So, I grew up too fast and I still don't know what love is because I am too afraid to fall in love again. But you wanna know something really cool? I survived. I didn't let him win. Do I feel my chest tighten if someone is wearing the same cologne as he did? Yes. Do I shrink in fear when I see him? Yes. Did I cry the day he told me he was moving to Raleigh to be closer to me? I cried.
At graduation, I stood before my high school class and the majority of my town and you know the first person I saw in the crowd? Him. But I didn't panic and I didn't shrink. I looked him straight in the eye and I knew I was finally getting my life back. There will always be days, but he won't be in anymore of mine. He took a lot of things away from me, but here I am today. I survived. I promise you, you are strong. You will survive too.

Project Dinah said...

Everyone says that i should feel lucky. Everyone says call yourself a survivor because that is what you are. Everyone says don't worry one day you wont even think about it anymore. Everyone says you can get through this you are strong. Well they are wrong. They don't know what this feels like. No matter how many times i try to explain. They don't flinch when a man they don't know really well touches them. They don't get paranoid whenever a man is near them on the bus or at the grocery store. They are not afraid of having sex with someone. That's because i have gone through something they haven't. I was raped twice when i was 17 years old. I don't remember much about the timing. Things are blurry and foggy. I suppressed the memory for so long that i forgot details.I do remember how i felt. What he did. And how it effects me now. I remember being at his house because i thought he was a friend. I remember getting bored so we made out for a bit. He said he wanted to take a shower. So he left the room but i wanted more so i followed. When i got in the shower with him that's when things got violent.He took me by the arms and forced me against the wall of the shower. I tried to speak but I couldn't. I tired to say stop i tried to say no. In my head i was thinking what is happening? Then he did something that i will never ever be able to forget. He forced himself inside my butt. He kept going even after i screamed from pain. He didn't stop. So i went limp i let him continue. He took me by my neck and pulled me out of the shower and through me on the floor. Where he continued until he was done. He made things happen that i never knew could happen and i just waited. When he was done he cleaned up the mess on the floor and went back to his room. I put my clothes on and left. I was confused. I didn't understand what was happening to me. I never told anyone what happened on that day until last year. I was scared. I wasn't even sure if it was actually rape considering i followed him into the bathroom and I originally consented. It happened again a few months later with a different man. That too i also kept secret.  I want every woman out there who has been through what i have to know you are not alone.You can get through this. It may take time and it will be hard but you can do it. Don't do what i did. Don't suppress the memory. Don't hide it. Don't take it all on yourself. Find someone you love and trust and they will help guide you. You have the strength&nbsp

Anonymous said...

I’m sorry I didn’t shave.
I’m sorry my boobs aren’t bigger.
I slur words out and you slide your hand. Down my pants. Up my shirt.
Simultaneously apologizing for being too much woman and not enough.
I’ve forgotten how to do so much in this moment.
The fireball burned ability out of me.
I forgot how to hold my head up.
I forgot how to keep my eyes open.
I forgot how to say no.
I forgot to say no.
I forgot.

I’m sorry I threw up again.
I’m sorry you have to take care of me.
I apologize for the inconvenience I cause while your hands slowly stroke away my autonomy.
I forgot to tell you I didn’t want you inside of me.
I forgot to tell you that, yes, that included your fingers.
I forgot to tell you that, no, just one was not okay.
I forgot to tell you that this was assault.
I forgot to tell you that this would haunt me.
I forgot.

The fireball made me forget then.
Now, it makes me remember.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you know you assaulted me.
I bet you don’t.
I didn’t, not for a long time.

A bad drunken hook up.
The beginning of my slutty year.
A right of passage.
Sexual liberation.
Freedom.

The brain is a funny thing.
It can take something and turn it into nothing.
It can turn trauma into beginnings.
Terrible into liberation.
Force into choice.

I took my newfound freedom to be a slut and used it to burry you.
I buried your memory in a sea of drunken hook ups.
I tried to find power in being desired, just like you had desired me.
I tried to find joy in my choice, just like I chose that night.

I chose to hold a handle of Fireball to my lips, until it burned my consciousness away.
I chose to stumble my way into your waiting arms, ready to guide me to bed.
I chose to lie on my side, just so the fire I kept breathing wouldn’t burn the breath out of me.
I chose to stay still while your hands claimed what wasn’t theirs.
I chose this.

It took me years to learn that I didn’t chose.
I wasn’t liberated.
I wasn’t free.
I was assaulted.
You assaulted me.
I wonder if you know.