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.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I remember waking up on his bed. I was still drunk, but sober enough to know that I needed to get the fuck out of there. I hooked my bra, slid on my shirt, and stumbled home, hearing the rooster just begin to crow. Waking up in my bed the next morning, all of a sudden, I remembered the night before. What happened? I know he didn’t rape me. But I also know I don’t like what he did. And I definitely didn’t tell him it was okay. Am I allowed to be angry at him, though, since it’s not rape? Am I allowed to be upset? Embarrassed? Ashamed? I saw him the next day, and he knew I wasn’t happy. So he apologized. Or did he? Did the word “sorry” ever leave his mouth? No, only “forgive me,” over and over, and the demand to not tell anyone to ensure that his flawless reputation remained intact. Maybe I could forgive him. I mean, he didn’t rape me. Just kind of took advantage of my intoxicated state – by far the drunkest I’ve ever been and ever will be, for the record.
It was my fault, anyway, right? I shouldn’t have gotten so drunk. I shouldn’t have trusted this person whom I had only known for a few months. I shouldn’t have danced with him, leading him on. But he knew I wasn’t interested. He said so later: he said he shouldn’t have done what he did because I have a boyfriend. Yeah, that’s why you shouldn’t have assaulted me. Because I’m someone else’s property already; my body has been claimed.
It took me a long time to acknowledge that what happened to me was sexual assault. Walking around campus and seeing those signs – you know the ones: “1 in 4 women is sexually assaulted during her lifetime” – I questioned whether I was part of that group, hoping I wasn’t; I bawled when I realized I was. Of all of the statistics to be a part of. And that humiliation, that depression, that shame is all so minimized when you’re simply counted as part of that 25%. Because every 1 in 4 of us has a story completely unique, equally terrible and deserving of a voice, not just to be part of a statistic.
Three months later, the self-blame is gone, thanks to a counselor and some incredible friends. But the assault will always be a part of me: each time someone uses rape language; each time I’m alone with a boy, afraid, and wish he would leave so I can lock my door; each time I make love to my boyfriend; that moment is there.