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 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.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I still don't remember exactly how it happened. 

I remember the night in bits and pieces. I remember drinking. I was 19, in a foreign country, and so being able to legally drink was still a novelty. It was our last week of the summer program and we were having a party. We invited the friends we had made in our 6 weeks there. I had a crush on this guy and I was so excited that he had come. 

The night started out well. Everyone was having fun and dancing. But he kept giving me drinks and shots and eventually I was too drunk to protest. 

I don't know how we got to my room. All I remember is that suddenly we were sitting on my bed. He was kissing me, making me touch him. I remember being confused. I had never had a guy be interested in me before, and I was telling myself I should be happy for the attention. But I also felt uncomfortable and scared. I knew I was really drunk and I was blacking out. But I couldn't seem to get out the words. The rest of the night gets hazy. I remember him forcing me to give him a blow job. I remember the pain when he was inside me, as I protested saying it hurt and i wanted to stop. He didn't listen. It hurt for a week afterwards. 

The next morning my roommate and all the other students in my program were talking about it as though it was a normal hookup. They joked and smiled and I played along, and even managed to convince myself, for a while. That I was just making a big deal out of things. That I was drunk, so it was my fault. I chose to drink, I chose to go with him to my room, even though I didn't consciously remember that decision. I convinced myself it was just a "bad hookup".

But I couldn't stop thinking about it every night. I couldn't sleep. I was constantly thinking about it, replaying it in my head. By the time school started again, I would sometimes cry silently before I finally went to sleep.

But I never told anyone. I never did anything. I was convinced it was my fault, that it was not "that bad", that it couldn't be rape.

That year I took a course on Leadership and Violence Prevention and joined Project Dinah, and it really made me face what had happened. But it also made me incredibly guilty. I was constantly telling other people to report, to speak out, to not be ashamed, that it wasn't their fault. But I couldn't believe those things for myself, and I felt like a hypocrite. How could I tell other survivors to not be ashamed when I still blamed myself? 

At Speak Out that year, I promised myself I would let my story be heard. It is now my last chance to fulfill that promise before I graduate. So here it is.

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