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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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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.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I still feel guilty calling it rape.

Rape is something you hear about, this awful, terrible, violent occurrence, nightmarish in its retelling. I have spent so long telling myself that what happened to me wasn't rape. That it wasn't as bad as what other people go through. That I was overreacting.

I had been dating you for so long. On and off for six years. You had been my first. My only. And you knew I was head over heels for you. You were my everything.

That weekend I had driven four hours to see you. I had just come to be with you, to talk and kiss and hold your hand. You brought me to a party with a bunch of your friends that I didn't know. You proceeded to get drunk and high, eventually yelling at me that I was a slut.

I remember crying in an empty room while the party raged on without me.

We went back to your place early. I remember feeling responsible for making you leave. Like I was a child who had to be brought home and tucked in because I couldn't interact with these people. You knew how uncomfortable I was. You were completely silent during that ten minute walk. I just remember apologizing. Like I had done something wrong.

It's still not quite clear to me how things happened the way that they did. All of the sudden you were on me, as though the events of the night didn't count. Like you were entitled to it because I was there.

I didn't say no.

But I was crying the whole time.

Just after it happened was probably the worst experience of my life. Laying wrapped in your arms after you had passed out, confused and upset, tears still streaming down my face.

You had taken pictures. I deleted them while you slept a drug-induced slumber.

I remember convincing myself that night that it wasn't rape.

I hadn't said no.

You were my boyfriend. I trusted you. I didn't know a world could exist where that wasn't true.

You apologized in the morning. So all was forgiven, right? Because little things like this happen every once in a while.

It took four years for me to come to the realization that you assaulted me. Took advantage of me. Disrespected me.

Raped me.

It's still hard for me to digest this information. I still care about you. Sometimes still talk to you. Still trust you.

I've never told you how I felt that night.

Never told my perfect, respectful, trustworthy, gentle, current boyfriend, who I will probably marry. I think I'm still ashamed. That telling him would somehow make me seem like less. Like it was my own fault.

Besides. I didn't say no.

There are so many things I can tell myself I should have done. I should have spoken out. I should have told you to fuck off. I should have stayed home. But the "should haves" do me no good. All I can do is learn from my experiences and use them to make myself a stronger person.

What you did to me was rape. I know that now.

And I will NEVER let someone treat me the way you did that night again. 

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