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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.

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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.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I was sixteen and painfully stupid.

I had been recently hit by a car, and I was feeling this odd sense of mortality. I was utterly alone after having moved back to my old area, and I desperately wanted to have someone. I got in contact with an old girlfriend, and we hung out a bit. She told me after a little bit that she worked with a guy that I'd been passing acquaintances with in my freshman year of high school, and upon learning that he lived nearby, I asked that she give him my number (or the other way around, I can't remember anymore.) We talked, and after hanging out for a day or two, we decided to "date".

Now, this guy... Was NOT my usual taste. He was pudgy, a smoker and a drinker, an overall "juvenile delinquent", but I didn't care. Somebody (supposedly) cared about me.

I remember the night it happened very vividly now, though it all sort of happened in a blur.

I had felt him distancing from me, and I knew that my disdain for alcohol had something to do with it. After hanging out with him and some of his friends, I agreed to go out drinking with them.

My father was out of town that night, so after he left, I waited for him to come and get me. We walked to a nearby park and met up with his friends, where we snuck into a part of the adjoining nature preserve. We passed around a bottle of vodka and a bottle of sprite remix to chase. Having never drank before, I quickly became intoxicated. We all hung out for a bit before he led me to a playground nearby, hidden in the lot of a school. We sat there talking on the top platform by the slide for a bit, before he started to kiss me. I remember that he tasted strongly of cigarettes and booze, so I tried to push him off of me after a few moments. I was so loopy that when he started to force himself on me, I couldn't really stop him. He managed to pull my pants off and get inside of me, but I yelped with pain and he quickly stopped, apologizing and coddling me all the while. I had no idea what was really going on, but i accepted a ride home from his friends and went to bed right away.

A few hours later, I woke up to him standing over me. He had broken into my home through a screen in the kitchen window, and wanted to "check on me". I scolded him, but he just climbed on top of me and raped me . After a while, he pulled me into my father's room and crawled on top of me in my father's bed. After a bit (he never finished off) he took me downstairs and had me fondle him, explaining all the while that he just "couldn't take advantage of me while I was drunk like this". I was numb, horrified, and utterly confused. He left, and I ran into the shower and scrubbed myself.

The next day, I called a girlfriend of mine and explained what happened. "It sounds like you were assaulted, honey." I refused to acknowledge it, though it burned inside of me as I swallowed my own lies. I hung out with him for a week or so more, until he completely cut himself off from me and started spreading rumors that I was a "psycho whore".

I never reported it. I have come out, though, and admitted what he did. At first I just said that he "tried" to rape me, but I couldn't lie anymore after seeing my then boyfriend hang out with the guy who did it. The girl that I first admitted it to, through sobs in my high school hallway as my then boyfriend stared dumbfoundedly through my admission, was the girl who I asked to connect me and my assaulter in the first place. She had been through even worse sexual assault in her early adolescence, and she helped me come to terms with what had happened. She was a wonderful friend to me during those times of need, and I thank her, from the bottom of my heart, for being there for me.

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