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

It was my first time away from home- an anxious but bubbly freshman in high school, I was traveling 6 hours away to attend a leadership conference.

The first "leader" I found made my skin crawl. To everyone else, he seemed like an average, ordinary 17-year-old boy. My discomfort around him wasn't shared by anyone else in my group, so when all the other seats on the fancy charter bus were taken, I convinced myself that the bad feelings I had were all in my head; I needed to just suck it up and sit down next to him in that last row. The result was an hourlong, torturous nightmare that left me feeling dirty, used and paranoid.

No one made any motion of stopping him from his slow but thorough invasion of my body. This was NOT how I pictured my first interaction with male genitalia: my hands forced behind my back, and then down his pants, moving further and further into unwanted points of sexual contact. I thought no one knew, but an anonymous tip notified my group leader when we arrived at our destination. Knowing someone else shared in my torture was disgraceful and horrifying. The boy was ejected from our group and sent home with a slap on the wrist from the program director.

Um, hi? What about me? I was scoffed at by my group members- told I was making a big deal out of nothing, and I should consider myself "lucky" that I wasn't fully raped. Oh, I'm lucky? Because feeling unsafe at every turn is lucky. Never trusting anyone again is LUCKY? Losing crucial relationships and becoming physically detached wasn't lucky.

I was miserable for months until I realized that what happened to me WAS real, and no one could make it any less legitimate or upsetting. Time has healed the emotional wounds, and I realize I WAS lucky- too many women have these atrocities continually inflicted upon them, without even the most minimal of interferences to stop the pain. I escaped with minor scars, but even those are reminders of things that never should have happened.

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