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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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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.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It started when I was six years old. He was an extended family member at around 11-12 years old the first time. He told me he wanted to play "Titanic," a game where he would "save me" by pushing me down and laying on top of me. Even then, I knew something was off. For the next six years, whenever I would see him, my stomach would lurch because I knew he would do his best to get me alone. He usually did.

Initially, it was just laying on top of me, even when I begged him to stop. As I reached 9 years old, his hand began to slide down my shirt and wiggle around. I was confused and scared. I remember looking in the mirror as I was getting ready for dinner parties with my extended family and messing up my hair, so I wouldn't look attractive. I thought maybe if I looked ugly he would stay away. In fact, I used to beg my mom to let me wear casual clothes to events like that. That wouldn't stop it either. Later, I would realize that it didn't matter what I looked like, he would have probably done the same thing.

The last time was when I was 12. His family had just bought a new house and was having a housewarming party. My mother made me wear a really nice outfit. Looking in the mirror before we left, I wanted to puke. My breasts had gotten bigger and so had my hips. I wanted so badly to be invisible. Before we left the party that night, I went upstairs to look for my brother. I didn't find him, but my attacker found me. He said he wanted to play a game and pushed me over. He tried to tried to reach into my top. I wasn't having it this time.

I crawled out from under him and turned around. I told him I knew what he was doing and that he better stop. He played stupid and pretended like he was just having fun. I ran away that day, and never looked back. That night, I cried myself to sleep, as I finally realized what had been happening to me all those years. That kid took advantage of another kid, a much younger one. He will never know the depth of the anxiety he has caused me, and how delayed I became when it came to boys and growing up. To this day, I still have a hard time making physical contact with people. I still am not comfortable being too close to guys. I was violated, I was taken advantage of, and I was manipulated. It becomes hard to trust people, and harder to trust yourself.

My attacker attended UNC and is now in medical school. He's going to have a great life and bright future. I hope that whatever he was going through was a curious phase, but if I find out he ever did/does it to anyone else, you better believe I'll send his ass to jail. I feel guilty for not reporting him, but it would honestly tear my family apart. I also know there's no evidence, no nothing. But, I'll have my eyes wide open. He better keep his hands to himself.

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