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 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.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Honestly, it feels very scary to write this down. To write this here gives this incident some level of reality I’ve spent years trying to ignore. In all honesty, I still think it wasn’t that bad. Maybe that’s me internalizing my oppression, maybe that’s me trying to ignore reality, but I do know now my silence contributes to a society that ignores these kinds of problems, and one must “Speak Out” to break the silence. I may never care to seek help, but I know others will, and I can’t stand the thought of my silence getting in the way of what they need from society, so here is my contribution:

It was sophomore year of high school, and I was on crutches because I had injured my foot. My friends had taken it upon themselves to carry my backpack for me various times throughout the day, between classes, to the cafeteria, and even to my dad’s car at carpool after school. I remember thinking how nice everyone was to me, and feeling so glad that I had people who cared. The thought never occurred to me that any one of them would do harm to me, but it happened anyway.

He had always made it a joke of touching me, he played with my hair, poked me at my sides, and I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed it. I liked the attention he gave me, so whenever he crept into my personal bubble, I thought nothing of it. It was just how he played around. Then one day, while he was carrying my back pack for me to the carpool area, he bumped into me hard enough to knock me off my crutches. I held on to the exterior wall of the school in an effort to keep my balance on one foot and asked irritably, “What was that for?”

He just laughed in response. I remember rolling my eyes and wondering why it is boys have to be mean to you to show that they like you.

“Could you grab my crutches for me at least?”

He didn’t say anything, he only got very close to me. He then promptly groped my breast.

I tried to push him away, and chastised him, “Hey, what the hell. Don’t touch me there.”

He only laughed again, and smirked in a way I’ll never forget. A mixture of the look “you know you want it,” and “I don’t even care if you don’t.”

It was also at that moment I had realized how alone we were. The entire courtyard was empty, and inside the school wasn’t much difference. The chance of someone seeing us was extraordinarily low. To this day, I still wonder if he planned it that way or just saw the opportunity and seized it.

I knew I couldn’t run, so in a hopes to appeal to any decency he had, I asked again for my crutches. “Come on, my crutches please? I can’t stand on one leg all day.”

He didn’t even give me a response, He jut groped me again and then made an effort to take off my shirt, that smirk still on his face. 

I tried to push his arms away, but he was too strong. In shear panic, I gave up the defensive maneuver and slapped him across the face. I hit him so hard my hand burned. 

He stopped and glared at me. I could see a red mark forming on his face. 

I took the opportunity to try to shove him away again, this time succeeding in creating some distance between him and me. I knew I only succeeded in moving him though because he didn’t care enough to push back. That thought made me feel extraordinarily weak. 

“You’re such a slut.” He said it so flatly I wondered if he even knew that I didn’t like what he was doing to me. He then stormed off angrily, back into the school building. 

I remember standing there in such confusion. Everything happened so fast that I wasn’t really sure it even happened. I remember taking solace in the thought though, “This isn’t that big of a deal, he didn’t rape me.” 

I never mentioned the incident to anyone at school, and went around in the following weeks as though nothing happened. The only difference was that I made sure that I never talked to him again. 

I made a huge effort to forget that the incident even happened, and told myself constantly no one would believe me or care if I said anything. What he did wasn’t that bad, and besides, he was a fairly popular kid in a small school. They would probably think I’m just some jealous, attention-seeking whore. 

Today, I know it was wrong of me to have not said anything, and let others know what happened. I feel a nagging sense of guilt about that, but I also know that realistically I can’t do much about it. So here, I write this now, telling my story, both to purge the guilt but also in hopes that someone will hear this and realize why they should seek help. I implore you, please don’t think you’re not important enough or the incidence wasn’t that big of a deal, please, Speak Out.

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