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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, October 25, 2012

I don’t want to write about the man who raped me because he has no power over me. The man who abused me for a year, who spit his evil into my body and ignored my sobs, my pain, my every plea of NO has become less than nothing to me, and I thank God for that. I could write about his emotional abuse and manipulation, his anger, his sexual abuse that made his disgusting eyes glow with hatred and sick, perverted lust—the abuse that put me in the ER’s trauma room a year and a half ago from a failed suicide attempt. I could talk about the cuts, the depression and anxiety that haunted me, the fear, the shame, the overdoses. I could write about his repeated apologies and pleas to have me back after I—thank God!—left him. But honestly, he isn’t worth my time of day—he isn’t worth a word or even a fleeting thought. I pitied him for much too long. Hatred takes energy, and he doesn’t deserve the energy it would take for me to hate him—but if there is any hatred in my heart that lingers, it is because of the lies he told me about myself. I don’t believe them anymore, and I know I’m beautiful, I’m intelligent, I’m fiercely strong, I’m passionate and powerful, and I am PERFECT at being me. He didn’t take any of that away. 

I am more inclined to write about the people that betrayed me, the people that didn’t believe me, the people that ignored the signs and facilitated his abuse. A handful of girls on my hall defended him without even asking me or talking to me at all because he was “always nice to them.” None of them have confronted me about it to this day. They defended my rapist without even asking me “Did this happen to you?” I still cannot understand how women can betray other women like that. 
I could write about the people in my life that called my emotions “silly,” that told me part of my soul had been taken away forever because of what happened, that look at me differently now, that trace EVERY action and decision I make back to what happened, the people that torture me with their apathy and ignorance and their refusal to even try to understand. I could write about the questions people asked me: “Why didn’t you break up with him the first time it happened?” “Why were you ever alone with him?” “Why didn’t you run away and call the police?” Why, why, fucking why, every day for weeks and weeks. Few people wondered why he raped me, why no one asked me if I was okay when I walked through the halls of my dorm sobbing, why no one reported it after I told them about his threats of violence, why no one noticed him showing up outside my door countless times every day, why people didn’t interfere when he would scream, curse and verbally abuse me in public. 

But this is not even half of the story. If you don’t know my story, you can’t know my glory, and my glory is in the beautiful people—the angels God sent me—that have lifted me from my suffering and made me stronger and more wildly beautiful than before. I wish I could list each of them here and tell them why I love them and how each of them has, quite literally, saved my life. The people that believe me, LOVE me, encourage me, support me, laugh and cry with me, hold me, smile at me, believe IN me . . . I love you more than you will ever know. You inspire me to stay true to my responsibility to give back to this world.

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