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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, 2016 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.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The day after graduation, every high school senior in my county went to Myrtle Beach. It was the first night there and possibly my third time ever getting drunk. A friend and I showed up at the house of some of our other "friends" and were quickly led into the basement with two guys. The girl I was there with disappeared and I was left alone in the nastiest, darkest basement I could have imagined in a beach house with "a guy from one of my classes." 

Despite repeatedly saying no, asking him to get off of me, asking why people were watching--I couldn't get him to stop and I was too confused to really understand what was going on. He offered to get me high, which I thought would make him fall asleep and get the fuck off me, but it only encouraged him more. I thought I was a bitch for not making him happier-for denying him the right to just use my fucking body.

I finally gave in, thinking that I was just being a cunt, and when someone walked in on us I had a panic attack. As I groped around on the disgusting floor crying, unable to breath, desperately trying to find my clothes and get out, he continually kept telling me that I wasn't being fun, that I came to beach week to have a good time, and he didn't understand why I wouldn't want to fuck him. He took my clothes, threw me back on the bed, and proceeded to fight with me. I don't remember how, but we ended up fighting for the doorway. Each time I grabbed the knob, he would just slam it shut and continue him "fun" speech, seemingly unaware that I falling apart. It wasn't until my friend started looking for me at the door that he let me leave and we immediately walked outside and began our walk up a busy road at 2 in the morning. He had the audacity to text me "hey" the next day.

I let this get to me for two years. I came to college completely unable to cope and failed multiple classes (partially because I just never wanted to get out of bed). I couldn't explain the gravity to anyone and I thought it was my fault for giving in, for the way that I let it affect my grades, and for the few people who made me feel like I wasn't truly raped. 

This semester marks the beginning of a new life for me and I want to encourage everyone that I can to get past their pain. We're more than the things that have happened to us.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I was seventeen, naïve and inexperienced—he was almost twenty. I felt the warning signs early on, but ignored them. He would tell me lavish stories, seemingly too good to be true. He would find bizarre reasonings for events that occurred, bizarre religious phenomenons, numerical answers, twisting words to find alternative answers. I started to feel strange a few weeks in, but I persisted, like a detective unraveling a mystery plot, oddly attracted to what I could not understand. At the time I thought he was a little strange, but he was really nice to me. In the end, I realized he was completely delusional, and dangerous—I didn't have a clue.

We dated for less than a month, but the experience still haunts me. I had taken the train out to visit him one day, we decided to hike in the snow and explore an abandoned factory. He took me to his house nearby aferwards—I was unaware that no one was home before we arrived. He fell asleep in his room tired from the hike, and I nodded off shortly after. I woke up to him tearing at my clothing, sinking lower and lower until my pants were gone, his jaw aligned with my hips and shoving his fingers inside of me. I didn't want this, I told him things were moving too fast. No comment. I spoke again and no answer. I lifted my voice a third time, squirming away and telling him no, and his reply still sits with me today,

"Just shut up and enjoy this."

I froze, unmoving and silent, fearful of this strange character that I had trusted with too much. What the hell was going on. I sat there, eyes brimming with tears, until he broke away dissatisfied. I sprang up, swept my clothes off the floor, and locked myself in the bathroom. Ten minutes later, his mother arrived back with his sister, and I asked to be driven to the train.

I cried on the way back home, confused as to what had just taken place, denying that it did. I hadn't spoken to him for a few days, but that next weekend he confessed to sleeping with another woman in the city. I was so relieved that I didn’t have to explain why I wanted out, but as I tried to break up with him he threatened suicide. He admitted that he owned a gun, and told me that I was his perfect match, that I was his Lilith and he was the Devil.

The next few days were a nightmare; I was terrified, I couldn’t believe how I had gotten into this mess in the first place. I cut all contact, and a few days later he messaged me--he was at the subway closest to my house, and he was coming for me. That we were going to run away together have the best night of our lives. I didn’t sleep that night, checked the locks on our doors about a thousand times, huddled at the window hoping he wouldn’t come for me.

The next day, I met him in a public place—he had slept in an ATM enclosure that night. I just had to do it, to stop the stalking, the madness. I didn’t want to tell my parents about this mess, that I wanted a restraining order. I made it clear to him that I never wanted to see him again, and he finally accepted my refusal. HE accepted, as if I had no say in the matter. After we broke up, he called me a few times from a mental hospital. Every couple or so months up until a year and a half later, I would receive an email from him wanting me back. He went from apologetic, to irate by the end of his unanswered communication—and then finally stopped.

What bothers me the most, is the fact that years later I still live in confusion, asking myself: Was it assault? I feel guilt for asking myself that question, guilty that I had wound up with someone like that in the first place. The thoughts race, was anything that he said true? Was he lying about the fact that he believed he was the devil, did he really own a gun? And did he hurt her too…was it my fault that I didn’t speak up?

All I know, is that he was manipulative and was emotionally abusive, an angry pathological liar. All I know, is that I was seventeen, and I did not consent. All I know, is that I said no.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Bag of Ketamine

I lost my virginity to a bag of ketamine
Back in high school, when snorting shit was my scene
I was with a friend 
In a room on a bed
He chopped up a long skinny line and said,
“Babe, you go right ahead”

Five minutes later,
My body fell into the sheets
Like a limp dishrag in a pile of laundry
I never saw it coming 
Until he locked the door that led
To me lying on that bed
Then, I heard him say to me
“Good shit like this isn’t free”

It came on real fast, that long line of K
It melted my legs and weighed me down
It snatched my sight away
I was no longer in that room lying on a bed,
No longer with a friend
But everything he did, 
I could see happening in my head
And I heard every word he said

He put my rag hand on his cock
But my fingers couldn’t grip 
Then he tried to put it in my mouth
And my tongue was numb
And the smell of his dick made me sick
He said he could tell by the way I fucked
That I must be new at this

As soon as he was in me
For just a moment, my eyes cried
“Please don’t…”
Whispered words 
Trapped inside my mind
But the ketamine held my mouth
Those words never made it out
Just the exhale of my breath
When the K floated me to the ceiling 
Up to the very top
I saw me lying on my back
Lifeless on a bed
And his body on me, humping like a dog

When he finished I was alone
A limp dishrag covered in cum
“Put your clothes back on; I’m done,”
Before he left the room, zipping his jeans he said,
“You weren’t such a bad lay;
I hope we can still be friends”
No one noticed when I left the party,
In my sticky cum-covered shirt, 
No one told me that my sweatpants 
Were on backwards and inside out

I don’t remember how I got home 
Oh, I hope I didn’t drive
But I got there and felt a little surprised
That the kitchen looked the same
The dinner dishes still in the sink
Under the soft nightlight, they remained
The papers-clutter-books 
Were still strewn on my bedroom floor
None of it had changed

In the bathroom, I peeled off
The cum-stuck shirt from my chest
And looking in the mirror at myself
I noticed 
My pants were on backwards-inside-out
“You stupid wasted slut—can’t even dress yourself!”

Even after I showered 
Until my skin turned red
My body felt like an old dishrag
The kind that never washes clean,
That outa be thrown out
So I tucked my body into bed
My scrubbed-dirty-dishrag self

I never told him I didn’t want to
I never said no or put up a fight
Or stop! This isn’t right
I said yes to snorting lines that night
With a friend in a room on a bed
Back in high school, when snorting shit was my scene

I guess that means
I agreed 
To give up my virginity
For a bag of ketamine 
Because good shit like that isn’t free

Yeah, good shit like that 
Isn’t free.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I was a sophomore in high school-a 15 year old mess of emotions, low self esteem, and insecurities. I went to a party with a friend, and he came up to me with an easy smile and the words, "Wanna dance, beautiful?" Of course I did, he called me beautiful, and for someone that hated themselves as much as I did, that was a quasi-religious experience. We exchanged numbers, and the next day, he texted me and asked if I wanted to hang out. On our first date, he kissed me forcefully. I was surprised and happy, but somewhere deep down, it didn't feel right. He needed to know who I was around, how long I would be gone, why it was taking so long to text him back. One time, I didn't text him back, and every time I felt my phone vibrate in my back pocket, I felt a trill of inexplicable fear in the pit of my stomach. The next time I saw him after I didn't answer, he snapped. He pushed me against a wall and told me he would come find me if I did that again. I told him it was over. He pushed me onto the ground and got up in my face and said,"If it's over, my life is over. You want it to be over? Fine, I'll blow my brains out tonight." I sobbed apologies and begged him not to do it. He agreed, and just like that, he was back to his normal, easy self. I left scared and confused.

It got worse and worse. On one date, I refused to take off my shirt. He ripped it off and pinned me down and hurt me. He hurt me so badly yet so carefully, every bruise and cut was easily covered by my clothes. He got more and more violent, and suddenly, apologetic. He told me he was a terrible person and that without me, he would die. "Will you please stay with me-make my life worth living?" Of course, I had to. He would be sweet and apologetic and NORMAL for a while, but then the violence and sexual abuse would start small and build back up, culminating in a huge blowout and tearful threats of suicide on his part, and unwilling acceptance on mine.

I had nowhere to turn, and thought of suicide myself. Eventually, through the help of a close friend, I got to a safe place. I'll never forget the look on her face when she asked, "So, you weren't ACTUALLY raped?" I said no, and she looked...disappointed, almost. As if my pain suddenly wasn't worth the effort she was putting forth. I wasn't raped, but I was sexually abused and traumatized, and that will never be enough for my family and friends. My panic attacks are seen as overreactions and I am told, "Just get over it."

A week ago, he texted me and said he was going to "pay me a visit." He said he knew what part of campus I lived on, and that he would find me. I learned fairly quickly that that wasn't true and he was just trying to intimidate me, but the fear I felt when I received that text was unrivaled.

Will I ever be free from this?
I was so excited to go out on a date with a college boy. I was still in high school and he invited me out to a movie. Halfway through the film, he put his arm around my shoulder, and I felt a giddy schoolgirl rush of having someone take notice of you. He grabbed my hand, and I though the night was going to be perfect.

Until he put my hand on his jeans, right where his erection was. I was so uncomfortable, and put my hand back in my lap. After a few more attempts, the movie ended. He pushed me against the side of his car and started to kiss me furiously, like he was angry. I was terrified of what to do, knowing he was my ride home. I asked if he’d take me home, and he did. We sat in uncomfortable silence, and he kept looking up at me, as angry as he seemed when he kissed me.

Within the next three days, he called me seven times and texted me even more. On the fourth day, he showed up at my job and demanded to know why I hadn’t responded to him. I felt so small, and mumbled that I’d really rather not hear from him again. 

The next few days were terrifying, until it popped up on Facebook that he was “in a new relationship” with another girl. I was relieved, but terrified for his new girlfriend. I am still terrified for any person he encounters, because my experience with him makes me believe he could do so much worse, and that he thinks it’s okay.