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 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.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I was 17. I thought I was so old, I thought I could take care of myself. I was a virgin and believed in the goodness of people. I look back and see a girl. A naive, hopeful, innocent girl. Who, possibly, did not deserve what happened to her that night. I was not saving myself for marriage - I just wanted a choice in the matter of losing my virginity. I didn't get one.

He was a senior in college, I was a freshman. I met him 2 days earlier. I was quite the "party girl", and though one drink got me drunk, I pounded back at least 6-8 beers in an hour and a half or so. We went up to his frat room. I told him to lock the door, because I didn't want anyone to walk in on us. Did I want to have sex? No, I just thought we'd hook up. I was completely wasted. We were kissing, his breath filling my lungs, his lips tasting like beer. His hands were everywhere; I remember those the most. My body will never be clean of those handprints.

We were on his couch, and he shifted his weight on top of me. Things were in slow-motion but on fast-forward at the same time. All the beer was kicking in, and that night is filled with snapshots of memories, not all of them linear. The room was dark, but light streamed in between the blinds. I sank into the cushions, and my arms and legs were like dead weight. I couldn't - didn't - say anything. Nothing. I never said no. The word never even got stuck in my throat. There was nothing. Even then, I didn't really expect him to rape me. That happened to OTHER girls, not me, not here at my small, Northeastern private college that looked like a J.Crew catalog come to life.

I know he was wearing plaid flannel boxers. I heard his belt buckle unclasping. I remember looking up at the ceiling, at the upper right corner, and felt him push the waistband of my pants down. I still said nothing. I couldn't move. Everything just sank into the couch. He shoved his fingers inside me, again and again and again. That was the moment everything changed. That was when I thought, "oh. so THIS is how it's gonna go down." I knew then what was going to happen.

After that, my memories are not linear. I have flashes of clarity, of him raping me, and they are violent in their nonviolence. I just laid there, saying nothing.

And here I am, 10 years later, still fighting to wipe his handprints off, still trying to have a normal, healthy relationship. Still trying to forgive myself for not saying no. It has only been recently that I was able to admit - out loud - that he hurt me. Because he did. What he did hurt physically. Emotionally. Psychologically. I will never be the same honest, open, trusting girl. I have turned into a guarded, scared, wounded woman. Fear has snuck into my bones and crippled me. I don't know how other survivors have normal sexual relationships. I don't know how other women who've lost their virginity to violence manage to enjoy and appreciate their bodies again.

I've never told the whole story out loud. I am afraid to hear my voice say the words, I am not sure my voice could handle that much honesty or vulnerability. I am afraid to see the reaction on the person's face when I describe what he did. I am afraid my voice will falter, that I will crumble under the shame.

I am afraid I will never heal. That my body will always be broken, along with my spirit. I struggle every day - looking at me, you'd never know - but if you look hard enough, you'll see it in the outline of my bones and the scars on my arm. So I write, in my journal, on this blog, on pages of lined paper that I throw away. Maybe one day I will be able to give voice to these words.