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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.

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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

This summer was supposed to be the best one of my life. A free plane ticket to Europe, free housing, a stipend, what could go wrong? I certainly never thought I would be here, writing this story to be read aloud in a sexual assault.  

I went on a daytrip by myself, excited to be on my own for once. I had a fantastic day, I was able to explore and go at my own pace. I decided to stay a little later than I planned to watch a soccer game in the square, because I figured I would be fine getting home, mistake number 1. The soccer game was great, and even going back to the train station I felt completely safe. I sat down, thinking about my amazing day when a man came up to me and started a conversation. He seemed nice, and we got along well. We found out we were on the same train going home, so we ended up sitting together, mistake number 2. We sat down and I sat diagonally from him, making sure not to touch, but he moved so he was across from me. He started to touch my knee and then my arm, holding my hand, I shifted every time he touched me to try to get him to stop. By the time he had my hand in his, caressing it lightly but very sexually, I started to freeze. He pulled me over next to him and put an arm around me. I started shrinking against the window as he began to caress my arm. As he leaned in to kiss me I pulled away and repeated No multiple times, he stuck his mouth on mine anyway, but eventually stopped. He put his arm back around me and started to caress my breast and kiss me on the neck. I froze once again and then realized that he wouldn't take no for an answer, so when he went to kiss me on the lips this time I didn't say no. He started to kiss me and I didn't kiss back at first, but realized once again that being frozen wasn't making him stop either, so I figured I would give him what he wanted to make sure I could get away. As we began to kiss he would move my hand to his crotch, and make me rub it to feel him getting harder. He would aggressively pin my shoulders against the window, and bite at my lip or tongue hard. We were on the train for two hours. Two hours of him kissing me, trying to penetrate me and succeeding mostly, trying to finger me despite me crying out in pain, trying to get me into the bathroom to give him a blow job. When we got home he started to ask me where I lived. I didn’t want him to know because I was deathly afraid at this point, so I gave him a bogus address. He followed me to the bogus address and when I told him we were almost there he started to kiss me again and asked me to go into the dark park close by with him for 5 minutes maybe 10. I said no a couple times and he eventually started to pull me towards the park. He sat me on a bench and started to kiss me. He grabbed my hand and put it on his crotch as he was pulling out his penis. I wrapped my hand around it to get him off as soon as possible so I could leave, when he said no, with your mouth. I said no over and over while I shook my head, but he grabbed me and pushed me on to his penis. He held me down there until I thought I was going to pass out, when he finally let up a little, and I could breathe he pushed my head up and down. He said faster, faster and then said wait. He pushed me off of him, got up and started to masturbate, coming into the bushes. He looked at me and said Did you like it? I crossed my arms and said yes, watching him start to walk out of the park, expecting me to follow him. Eventually he left and I went to a bar to find a cab to get home. The nice bartender gave me some free water and then called a cab. I got home, ran into my coworkers, pretended like nothing happened, and then got in the shower for almost an hour. I went to work the next day and told no one what happened. 

I struggle with the fact that my body responded during the rape. Despite my mind screaming, my body responded, and he took that as an excuse to continue. When I told the woman at the consulate that, she told me that there really wasn’t enough evidence to go to the police. Even though she didn’t say it out loud, she essentially said to me, you consented, don’t try and pursue justice, he only physically held you down during oral, and that doesn’t count as rape. Eventually I was able to go to the police from the encouragement of the women at the clinic who did my STD testing. The police were very kind and very confident that he would in fact be arrested, and possibly serve time. Once I finished with my part of the police work, I realized I couldn’t stay when I felt so incredibly unsafe everywhere I went, so I went home. I spent the rest of the summer in bed. I had a pregnancy scare, got diagnosed with PTSD, found out the soft tissue in my neck was damaged, and got diagnosed with mono. Every night it took me hours to fall asleep and when I did the smallest noise would wake me up. I didn’t eat much because I was never hungry. I thought about suicide quite a bit. 

This summer did not go according to plan. And now I’m here at school trying to pick up the pieces of my soul that he shattered. Before this incident, I had had my first kiss, but that was the extent of my sexual encounters. My first intimate encounter with a man and the loss of my virginity are now forever linked with the feeling of fear and that I was near death, a lust filled aggressive monster, and an unspeakable amount of pain. It doesn’t seem fair that he probably thinks it was nothing, just a scared little girl that he had to seduce to get her to fulfill his needs. 

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