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 first fall Speak Out! in October 26th, 2017 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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The day after you raped me, after I spent all morning with you, I went to my best friend's J's dorm and told him I had sex with you. Because I didn't know how else to phrase it. Because I couldn't explain why I didn't push you away or scream or why I fell asleep immediately in your bed after. I didn't know what it meant to not be able to remember most of the night before, and my best friend worked with me for a month before I could even label my experiences. He helped me cut contact with you, and you told all of your friends about how I was a bitch for not trying to hang out with you again.

You unfriended me on facebook, and called it cleansing. You posted things on your tumblr about how you were so glad to have gotten rid of this toxic person from your life.

You weren't the victim.

You didn't have to deal with an inability to trust, aversion to touch. You didn't disassociate. You didn't struggle to keep up with classes when all you wanted to do was sleep. You haven't had to learn how to reclaim and love your body. And you've effectively cut me out of my life but I am not allowed to forget you or what you've done to me.

Last weekend marked the 3rd anniversary of the night you raped me. You can go back to Durham Pride. I can't. I can't listen to wye oak without wanting to vomit. I can't go bowling in raleigh because you mentioned that you wanted to go there once. I can't eat NY Pizza.

When I was planning J died, I was ready for a lot of things. I collected pictures, put together 2 terabytes of music for his mom to play in his room. I wrote down everything I could ever remember doing with him so that when his sister grows up I can tell her who her older brother is. I was learning to deal with the disappearance of the one person who knew everything about that night, a story I don't think I can ever tell again. I was even ready for the possibility of you showing up. So I didn't break when I had to look at you in the 5th row while I delivered J's eulogy. I was prepared.

But how the fuck dare you come into my space at reception, and plant yourself directly in front of me for half an hour when I couldn't get away. How dare you taint everyone's last goodbye to J, and what did you think you were going to achieve by daring me to make eye contact with you?

When I submitted to SpeakOut two years ago, I was still angry and raw. Everything hurt and I saw you everywhere. 

Now, not so much. When you made your seating choice, I felt a lot of things. Anger. Disgust. Hate. But I didn't feel fear. Because you don't hold any influence on my life anymore.

I am still working through a lot of things. Losing J has left me reeling in that the one person that would ever know the entirety of what happened has gone. I don’t think my experience will ever exist intact again. I’ve had people assume I wasn’t a survivor. I’ve had people shut me out because I’m a survivor, or because I wasn't a type of survivor. There are still days when I’m a puddle of tears, or I can’t school. But while you caused all of that pain, I don’t have to associate it with you anymore. Your face doesn’t pop up randomly, and I am no longer scared to run into you. Because i’ve done that already, and I didn’t break. J was our last common connection, and right now, I’m hella excited about never having to see you again. 

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