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.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It started when I was 8 years old. The touching, the back rubs, the inappropriate words and raspy breathing... all of it was wrapped in a cloud of confusion. I froze every time. I didn't stop any of it. I pushed the memories away, locked them inside of me, and everyone thought I was fine. On the surface, I looked like a normal teen, bubbly, a bit emotional, and involved in everything possible, but underneath there was a layer of desperation. I needed out of that cycle of terror. Of twisted touches and fingers that burned acid scars across my body. Of his leering looks and soft words that were negated by the twisting stab of each time he molested me... then one day I couldn't forget. He'd gone too far. I couldn't just bury it. What if he went after my sisters? It wasn't self-preservation... it was for their protection... and I tattled... all hell broke loose. Memories of the past came flooding back in a torrent, and all the questions and inspections, with me being treated like some scientific specimen to be studied and quantified, not a 15 year old who just spent 7 years living with a grandfather that sexually tortured her - it left me empty. Feeling more betrayed than ever before, and hurt beyond measure. He'd succeeded - he'd broken me. I was depressed, angry and hurt. I was suicidal, I hurt myself to feel some sort of release... to feel other than the emotional pain. I was told by some that I was to blame for his crimes. I was told by others that I shouldn't tell anyone for fear that they'd see me as vulnerable, or think that I was defined by that moment of my life. I was shut up, made mute, incapacitated. That was then, when I allowed others to control me, but not any more. I've had it. I'm present, and I am strong. My past does not define me, but shapes my future. He cannot control me. HE cannot break me. I am in control now. I know now how to protect myself and others from something as terrible as what happened to me. I have learned that silence comes at a high and awful price. I've learned that silence isn't worth it. I've learned to speak out. 

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