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!

Thank you for Speaking Out! We would love to get your permission to share your testimonial. If you would like to allow your testimonial to be used at a later Speak Out!, please let us know by making a comment or a note in your testimonial.

We are holding our spring Speak Out! on April 16th, 2018 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, November 5, 2012

“Come Forward, you will be believed.” This message is plastered everywhere. On the bus, in residence halls, on bathroom doors. What the message should say is “Come forward, someone will listen, someone might believe you, but someone will definitely not.”

2am and I’m in a ditch. What just happened? But I know what happened. But that can’t have just happened can it? People are arguing nearby, and I can tell it’s about me, but I don’t really hear them. All I can hear is my brain. This didn’t happen to me. No. No. No. I’m being dragged home by a friend. I’m vomiting. I’m crying. I’m shaking. I’m laying on the floor, with literally no motivation to ever move, ever be seen, ever be heard again. Someone comes to me. Says a lot of things, but all I hear is “hospital.” That’s when it hits. This happened to me. Like those people on TV. And I should go to the hospital.

When you check into the emergency room, there should just be buttons to press. Green button if you have a fever, red if it was an accident, purple if it’s 5am and you are a bruised crying woman who can’t stop digging her nails into herself. This would be much simpler than saying to the check in nurse “I’m here because I got attacked.” 

I am finally seeing the nurse, she asks what happened. My voice sounds like someone elses when I tell her about the drinking, the dragging, the hitting, me saying no, them saying yes, the crying, the confusion. Do you want a rape kit? No, what’s the point. I have no idea who he was. I will never know. I’m never going to tell anyone that this happened. 

I am making a blind report at the Chapel Hill Police Station. What did he look like? White, average height. Do you remember his name? No. Did you talk about anything? Not that I remember. Why didn’t you scream/leave? I was trapped in my own body. Frozen with fright. Disbelief. Shame. Why do you remember so much, even though you were inebriated? Because that’s how fucking trauma memory works. I’d forget it if I could.

I am telling my parents. There’s going to be a claim on our insurance, but don’t worry, I just got attacked. What? What happened? Oh I just got attacked by a guy at a party. What?

I am officially “coming forward.” I’m meeting with my “friends.” I am asking them what they remember. Which isn’t a lot. I am in meetings all the time, retelling my story to strangers.

I am months removed from the attack, and I still have no answers. Most of the friends I met with are not talking to me anymore. I am told “it didn’t count.” “it wasn’t a bad rape.” I am asked “why are you still sad? That was months ago.” “why are you drinking so much?” “Why aren’t you drinking anymore” I am blamed “you being sad makes me sad” “why can’t you just ignore it” “why aren’t you working on getting better” “it’s been long enough”. I am pitied, I am guilty, I am ashamed. I am a problem people can’t get rid of.

I am in the court room. I’m being told my PTSD could be from something else. I’m being asked if this is normal behavior for me. I’m being scolded.

I am sitting in the small room in my nice clothes. I hear the words “not guilty”

I am numbing. Numbing my sadness, my anger, my happiness, my talents, my future, my past. All numb.

I don’t like the word survivor. It has now been 10 months, and I do not feel like I have survived anything. I still lose friends. People still get angry with my PTSD. I still cannot focus on homework. I still do not have the confidence to do well on tests. I still hate meeting people. I still have to sometimes run out of class to have a panic attack in private. I still have paranoia to the extreme. I still hate my body for what it let happen. I still hate myself for letting it happen. I still hate the University for refusing to believe me. I still act with a logic only a victim of rape would understand.

I still see him on campus. I still hate him. I still know what happened. I still have nightmares. I still think about running away.

I still wish I told no one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are strong. You are so so strong, and fuck everyone who has the fucking dare to treat you like nothing. You will get through this. We are many, and we are not silent.
Lean on our community.
We are here, always.
We will fight the system that did this to you.
We will seek justice and BREAK the silence.