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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.

Monday, February 8, 2010

In response to the post "I feel like whenever bad things happen, you need a lot of support"

It always amazes me to come by and see that this is still here. Sometimes I feel like I don't know who this person is, and sometimes I know it's me.

Why is this so hard to talk about? You feel like it's been "enough time," and that people won't care when things trigger you. Or that they are ready for you to be over it. Or that since so much time has passed, it won't have the same effect on you.

And it does change, to some extent. The immediate scary-ness diminishes. You feel less ashamed of your body when you look in the mirror, since you see what YOU see not what he saw. You are less fearful of running into him.

But some of it just doesn't leave. And how in the world are you supposed to explain that you are afraid to fall for a guy because you are scared of having to explain everything?

I feel like it's been so hard to open up to any guy since then. I don't want to let this experience color all of my future interactions with guys, but it's really hard to stop that from happening. I feel like my defenses are up, way up, and I still just feel like guys only want sex. I see other people in relationships, even getting married, and it just feels so foreign to me. How could you know that the guy you're with really wants you? It feels like sex enters into the equation so quickly, and then how are you to know or trust anyone's true intentions?

When do you bring this up in a relationship? I don't want to stereotype guys. But how do you announce, "oh, I was sexually assaulted, so I will probably think you just want to have sex with me" in those early days of a relationship? If you bring it up, then all of a sudden perhaps you "hate men," and if you don't bring it up, you are always left wondering.

It really is a problem, and it really doesn't go away.

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