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.

Monday, March 30, 2015

My assaults left me broken and shattered. It created an obvious aversion to sex, but tainted the rest of my life as well. I didn’t feel for such a long time that I forgot what it was like to be sad, let alone be happy. When the emptiness faded away, it wasn’t long before the pain set in. Every moment of every day was a battle. I was constantly fighting to get myself to do anything. I felt nothing, and by lying on my bed I could be nothing, pretending my existence made no impact. It was nearly impossible to get out of bed most days and I often slept through important meetings. No one said anything, but the idea was that I was lazy, even worst unapologetic. I didn’t care about school, and I used alcohol to numb myself. I was invisible. All of my thoughts and struggles were non-existent. 

Eventually things got so difficult that I couldn’t take the pain anymore. With therapy, things started to seem brighter but not for long. After a semester of therapy, I was forced into the summer, far away from getting help. I was alone and the depression swept in again. I never responded to messages and I barely talked to anyone. I festered in my pitying and depression, refusing to seek help or acknowledge my friends. Because I didn’t have access to alcohol, I used pills to numb myself. I haven’t told anyone this, but I tried to kill myself over the summer. I swallowed the pills and hoped that the pain would ease away, but I was so lucky that they didn’t. As the impact of what I had done hit me, I ran to the bathroom and forced the pills out. Vowing to never let it happen again, I stopped abusing drugs. The pain was unbearable, but I started looking to my friends for support. Things began to look up, until my friend decided that she couldn’t take on my problems, even though I never asked her to. She completely invalidated my experience and tore me apart. 

The assaults were hard, but the response of the ones that I thought I loved and cared about were even more unbearable. The pain inflicted on a stranger I could have found a way to cope with, but the hurt that my friends had inflicted shaped my view of the world more than I could have anticipated. She closed me off, and it feels like I didn’t even have a choice. How can one trust again, when the one you trust the most takes your weaknesses and breaks you down, ripping apart every last piece of what’s left of your dying spirit? While I didn’t turn to harming myself, I spent all my time alone. I went to class, and then locked myself in my room. I was always lonely. I spent so much time around people, but there was no one really there. 

Cut forward a few months and things are bit better now. I’ve started to let myself be open with others, and I think it’s really begun to change me. The days really look brighter and I’ve found myself smiling about so much more. My life has started to seem worth living. When I share this story, I want survivors to know that it does get better. There are days where I saw no future; I couldn’t even see the next hour, forget the next day. I want you to know that your strength is incomparable. Things are going to be hard. I won’t lie to you about it. Even after it gets better, it can get worse. But after that rainstorm, there will always be a brighter day for you. When it seems like there is no hope, no future, I want you to know that I have unbelievable hope for you. Your future is going to be wonderful and the light inside you will nourish so many other lives. You mean something to me, and so does your future. When the world comes to you with its weapons and words of hate, let me show you that your love can transform even the darkest of ways. Like the lotus, you will grow through the mud of your fear, struggles, and pain and show the world that it can't break you, but it makes you more beautiful. So I beg of you, keep fighting. I know it’s not fair and it’s hard, but keep fighting and a time will come when you won’t even feel the weight of your battles. Fight and one day you will be free. 

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