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, 2016 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.

Monday, October 10, 2011

When I was 18 and first moved away to college, I thought I knew it all. I'd partied and experimented with drug use. I was pretty, smart, and untouchable. Quickly I fell into a close-knit group of friends. Amongst us was a charismatic magnanimous guy. We were all drawn to him, we all listened to everything he had to say. He and I grew close. We had a lot in common then. I took care of him, gave him food and a place to stay. He had us all fooled.

We decided to play a trick on people and pretend we were dating, then stage a huge fake breakup to see how people would react. Unfortunately, when the day came he backed out and said he didn't want to do it. It was then I realized that he'd trapped me in a relationship. I rationalized it, we got along, we liked each other. It would be fine. Maybe one day I'd learn to love him. For several months things didn't change. We barely acted like a couple. We spent most of our time intoxicated having a good time with friends.

Then he got an apartment and convinced me to move in. Once all my stuff was there, once we brought home a puppy that we'd found under a car, that's when everything fell apart for me. We'd been arguing and then arguing turned into verbal abuse. I was constantly insulted and demeaned and in return I grew cold and bitter. When he couldn't get me to back down he would pin me against the wall and scream in my face. He would physically bar me from the door so I couldn't leave the apartment. One night when I tried to run away from a fight he grabbed me by the neck and threw me down on the bed. I couldn't believe I was trapped in an abusive relationship.

I had lost contact with my family and all our friends were mutual. I didn't think anyone would believe me if I told them what was going on. No one came to my side when I screamed for help.

Eventually I shut down physically and emotionally. We went months without having sex. SO he started taking it from me. At first I would scream and cry for him to stop. Once I realized it wasn't of any use to fight back, I would just lie there and cry silently, wishing I was somewhere else. Still I didn't tell anyone.

My parents caught on that something was wrong and convinced me to come home. I was never more thankful for them than I was that summer. Unfortunately I had to go back. He picked me up from the airport and took me to a friend's house. Around 2AM he woke me up, screaming that I'd cheated on him. I snapped. 9 months of his abuse caused me to jump on him, grab his neck, and press down hard. The rest of that night is a blur of arguing and physical abuse. At one point he told me he'd drive me to the airport. I was so desperate to get away that I agreed and got in the car. He dropped me off on the side of the highway with nothing and drove off. I sat there in the rain and the mud thinking that I deserved it. Eventually he came back. As soon as I got my phone I called 911. When the police came I turned myself in for assault. Sitting in a jail cell was better than being with him. After hours of questioning the responding officers forged a fake incident report and drove me to the airport so I could fly home. I had a police escort in the airport because he had called my parents and told them he was going to the airport to get me.

I tried living at college for another year but he knew where I lived. He vandalized my car and would come over to my apartment and insist he come in "to talk." I transferred schools, changed my name, and decided to hide everything from the world.

I'm ashamed I fell into that relationship. I feel dirty, tainted, and unworthy of love. Only five people know my story. Most people know the relationship was unhappy. No one knows the toll it took and is still taking on my life.

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