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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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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.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

My friend had been crushing on a foreign exchange student who was in America for two years. On his last night in America, we all went to different bars around Chapel Hill and showed him around the place. Because my friend never told him that she liked him, he was completely clueless the entire time, and attempted to hit on me. I was very aware of my friend's feelings for him, so I dodged his advances. By this point in the night, my friend and him had managed to become completely blacked out, while I remained a buzz that allowed me to be coherent. My friend began noticing his obvious advances towards me, and became visibly upset. I attempted to calm her down and insisted that I did not want anything to do with him, but despite that, she left. My other friends had walked home by then, so I had no choice but to walk this stumbling stranger back to our place, where he was crashing on the couch for the night. 

It was the longest walk from He's Not back to my place in my life. The entire time, his attempts to try and convince me to hook up with him were unwavering. He pulled me towards him, pushed me against things, lifted me up and insisted on not moving until I kissed him, among other things. At one point he pushed me up against a tall tree with his body and would not move until I obliged to his kisses. When I finally did, he was all over me, his hands trying to pull down my shirt and get into my bra. I was so anxious about how I had zero control over my body, zero say in what I did or didn't want to happen. I had never felt so much anger towards my friend for leaving me with a monster, or towards the monster himself who was doing what he wanted with me. I managed to pull away and drag him back to my friend's place, and I literally ran to my bedroom, locking the door behind me. Even while turning the lock I can hear him tip toeing in the hallway down to my room, where he proceeded to knock on it. When I ignored his initial attempts the banging got louder and louder, and his pleading for me to unlock the door was relentless. He begged and pleaded for me to unlock the door, insisting that he only wanted to cuddle with me, and only wanted a decent place to sleep. Feeling anxiety in my own home was something I was unfamiliar with, and it was a feeling that remained with me for weeks afterwards. Eventually one of my roommates woke up and demanded that he return to the couch, but the terrifyingly unsafe feeling remained. 

My friend did not speak to me for a few days afterwards, adding to the additional feelings of nausea and anxiety that ruminated with me. I'm thankful that my attacker was too drunk to go through the rape entirely, but the feelings of helplessness with my own body remain. As time has passed, the anxious feelings and thoughts have lessened, but sometimes a certain smell or song from that night will bring it all flooding back. I am not completely healed, but time has made it better. 

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