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.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dear UNC community,
One in four women are survivors of some form of sexual assault on this campus. If something else was affecting our student population in such high proportions, there would be an outcry. Administration would notice. Why isn’t anyone doing anything about it? I want to know why people don’t get it. Why is sexual assault a “women’s” issue?

Dear Rapist One,
I don’t know who you are and I hate that. I want a name or at least a face so I do not flinch every time a male walks by me at night. And I want you to hear this, but I know you won’t. I want you to know how much that one night has affected me. Most every survivor knows her assailant, but I did not. I’m a survivor of stranger rape. You raped me and you saw nothing wrong. Did you plan it? Did you see me and want to attack? Or was it random…was I in the wrong place at the right time? I’m so hurt. Sometimes I can’t touch people, even people I care about because of you. And why? Why do you think struggling and kicking and trying to get away means I want it? Did blood mean things were going well? And then you just pulled me closer. It was disgusting. Every day I think I’m over it and then every now and then I flashback and go away to that night. You’ve affected me in the worst possible way. But you haven’t beaten me; I’m surviving.

Dear Rapist Two,
I really don’t care if you’re in ROTC, I don’t care about you at all. I don’t care if the university kicks you out and you go to jail. I don’t care if you lose your scholarship. You’ve already hurt THREE of my friends and probably more. You only didn’t get caught because people discouraged survivors from reporting you for fear of “ruining YOUR reputation” and “making our group of friends awkward.” Well I don’t give a fuck about you or your damn reputation. You’re a rapist, and you’re certainly not my friend. Don’t flatter yourself. I’m speaking out; they’re speaking out too, and I hope you hear how you’ve affected their lives, and my life. How they have bad dreams and lose time and have flashbacks because you drugged them so you could have some “fun.” What the hell kind of fun is that?

Dear Professor,
Sorry I could not concentrate in class today, that narrative on sexual abuse you had us read hit home. I was numb in class. Stop bothering me to participate. I’ll raise my hand when I’m ready. Stop with your crude comments and lack of understanding. You’re a history professor; why are you using class time to sexualize survivors? Why are you doing it at all? Stop assuming that no one in your class has ever been assaulted. Stop joking about rape.

Dear Partner,
Sorry that sometimes I shy away. Sorry that sometimes I’m in the shower for an hour scrubbing off invisible handprints. Sometimes when you want me to talk, to touch me, and I can’t and I’m sorry. I trust you, I love you…I just lose my voice sometimes. I’m getting it back. Please be patient with me.

Dear Roommate,
I know you try to understand, but do you really? I don’t think you understand how much this affects me. Please don’t think I’m being dramatic. I hide it a lot from you. When I come home to our apartment I haven’t been hanging out for fun always. Sometimes when I don’t come home I’m not out at bars having fun, I’m just too scared to walk from the bus-stop to our house. I stay on campus, and I don’t sleep at all, spending the hours contemplating calling the OCRCC and pouring hot coffee into my body.

Dear Secondary Survivors,
Your support and love is wonderful and necessary. We know you mess up and say the wrong things sometimes, but that’s OK, don’t worry…you’re trying. You save our lives. Literally. Be patient with us, we’re struggling, but getting better. Thank you for all you do…I know it’s hard on you as well. Don’t hesitate to get help for yourselves either if you need it; it’s hard to support us sometimes. You’re doing an amazing job.

Dear Fellow Survivors,
Everyone’s story is different, and just because yours involved alcohol, or drugs, or you were completely sober; just because you were wearing a short skirt, or because you were in jeans and a turtleneck; just because it was a stranger, or it was an acquaintance, a date, a partner, or a family member; just because it was someone of the same-sex, or you’re a guy, or you are transgender, intersex, or gay….does not make your story invalid. If you’re a survivor, regardless of circumstance, you’re a survivor. If you were passed out or didn’t physically fight, or didn’t have the strength to say “no” or simply didn’t say “yes” none of these things mean “yes” and none of these things make your story invalid. All these situations DO have one common thread though: It wasn’t your fault. It’s hard not to second guess and rethink and come up with a laundry list of “what if’s.” Every story is different, and everyone has the right to his or her own body and what is done with it. Unfortunately, this has not been the case with us. We have been molested, raped, abused, assaulted, and groped. It’s definitely not fair, it’s obviously not right and it fucking pisses me off. I’m fighting back though. I have my voice.

On this blog and at UNC, we are all in different stages in the healing process. Only you know where you need to be. Some of us haven’t admitted to our selves we were assaulted, and some have only to find out that we have no support. I believe you and I believe in you. The posts on this blog are incredible and have given me so much strength; I know I’m not alone and you’re not either…You’re believed.


Anonymous said...

this is such an incredible entry. it pretty much covers the bases, from interacting with partners, to reactions to people to don't understand, to self-blame. thank you so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

thank you for writing this; I needed this today.

Anonymous said...

thank you for this entry. i've been blaming myself, thinking it was my fault because i was drunk and barely conscious and wearing a low-cut dress and physically incapable of even saying "no" out loud. it's so comforting to know that there are other people out there who are having similar thoughts or feeling isolated. thank you for sharing your story.