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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.

End the shame. Be empowered. Speak Out!

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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.

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?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've had the same emotions swirling in my head for two years, but I promise that it does get better. It may not go away-but you'll move on. You will be happy again and you will live a life as fulfilling as you make it.

Sharing and reading these testimonials has probably made just as big an impact on me as the past year of therapy and prescription drugs have.