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 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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

“Isn’t that the guy you blew?”
My friend’s casual comment hung in the air for a long moment. I didn’t know how to respond.
“Um… I wouldn’t exactly put it that way,” I said weakly.
We were sitting at a restaurant eating Sunday brunch together, and she was telling a story involving a mutual acquaintance.
“That’s not exactly how it happened,” I tried again hesitantly.

Why is it so hard to label something as assault?
For me it’s because I don’t want to consider myself a victim. Or even a survivor. Thinking about it makes me feel weak and ashamed. I’d honestly rather put it out of my memory, pretend it didn’t happen.

“The guy you blew.”
I mean, that’s true. His penis was in my mouth.
Does it matter that I was so drunk I barely remember it? Does it matter that he pushed my head there? Does it matter that I told him I didn’t want to, fruitlessly offered up excuses, tried pathetically to protest?
I had walked home with him. I had let him take off my bra. Are those steps promises for more?
He didn’t rape me, not in the traditional sense. I blew him.
So was it assault?
Does it matter? My friend at brunch didn’t care.
Funny how it feels like I don’t have the right to decide.

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