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!

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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.

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.

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