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 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.

Monday, September 28, 2015

My freshman year of college I attended UNCW. During my first semester I got sick. I have been sick most of my life but this flare knocked me out pretty bad. But I was tired of letting my illness ruin my life. So I asked a boy in my freshman seminar class who was a music major to teach me to play the piano so i could take a secondary piano class the next semester. After our class ended around 7pm we walked to the Arts building together and I shared my story of illness and frustration and allowed myself to be vulnerable for the first time in years. We walked into the practice rooms. He closed the door. It was soundproof. He asked me for a hug. I gave him one to be nice. But he didn't let go. He kept jabbing his face towards mine trying to kiss me, his breath fogging my glasses and his body pressed against mine. Taken aback I asked him what he was trying to do. I had never kissed anyone before. I told him. I asked him to please teach me the piano. That's what I was there for. He backed off and showed me some simple steps, laughing cruelly at my mistakes. He jided me about not having kissed anyone. I stood up. I told him he was being mean. He backed me into a corner, again pressing himself against me. He told me if I ever talked back to him again he would bitch slap me and imitated the motion of smacking me across the face. I slid out from under him. I said excuse me? Are you kidding? He backed me into another corner, jabbing his face at me like a beady eyed bird. I could feel his stomach pressed against me. He then said I couldn't do anything about it because he was a man. Because he was bigger than me and stronger than me. And that I couldn't tell anyone. I pushed him off me. I grabbed my bag that was behind me in that corner and ran. He called after me that he was joking but I ran out of that building and rode my bike back to my dorm as fast as I could. The next few months were torture. I was an art major and a music minor so I had to see him every day. I remember giving a presentation to my class and he didn't take those beady eyes off me the entire time. I was afraid to go out alone. I would barricade my door at night because he knew where I lived and I was afraid. I remember the night I filed a report to the Dean's office to arrange a no contact order. He called my phone twice and texted me 3 times. I hid between the shelves in the corner of the library until my roommate could come walk me home. I felt so much guilt and I still carry it around to this day. "Maybe I just overreacted" I tell myself. "He was only joking." "I wasnt raped. It cant count as assault. He didnt even kiss me." Eventually I couldn't stand the fear I was living with every day as I walked into the arts building for class. I didn't feel safe. I couldn't go into the practice rooms at all even though I needed to to practice my vocal solos. They scared me too much. I intentionally showed up to class late since he had a class before me in the same classroom so I could avoid running into him. I lost 30 pounds and began a rapid spiral into an eating disorder. I just wanted to saw off the parts of my body he had touched and since i couldnt do that i was going to starve them off. I couldn't live like that any longer so I left. I transferred schools leaving behind my friends and teachers and connections because I couldn't live with it any longer. I have since stopped studying music and I haven't concidered learning to play piano since that night. But I feel safe. And that is more than I could say two years ago. I guess you could say I have trust issues. 

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