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 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, November 9, 2015

Honestly, it was only this past summer that I realized that I was raped. Something in my mind told me that boyfriends don't rape their girlfriends, and I think it was this idea that kept me from realizing how broken I'd become. He was my first boyfriend and I was 16. His crowd of friends was a group I'd always wanted to be a part of, so when we started dating I was constantly surrounded by a new set of people. This group liked to drink and have small parties together, and desperate to prove something to by new boyfriend, I decided to partake. I'd started binge drinking at 12 years old as a way to further my bulimia and depression, a habit I continued until about 14 or 15, so drinking again after a couple years of being clean was something I thought I could handle. I was wrong. Hunched over a toilet for an hour, I was an embarrassing mess. My boyfriend was clearly embarrassed, so maybe I thought that I had to make it up to him. In any case when I was done vomiting and went to find him, he asked if I wanted to go to bed and I agreed, clearly tired and ready for sleep. But when we got to the room and I collapsed onto the bed, he didn't join me. He was still standing when I opened my eyes. I was still to drunk and tired to even ask what he was doing. He took off my clothes, but only the ones impeding his assault. I remember clearly that he didn't even kiss me, that that was so strange to me and something felt wrong. I wasn't moving on the bed. He eventually started, and all I really remember was how wrong it felt. He was taking my virginity and I felt like a dead fish, unmoving and cold. And when it was all over, I kept thinking that boyfriends don't rape girlfriends, that this was just what sex was. A few days later, he broke up with me. A few months later, I was cutting again. My anxiety went from manageable to severe and I was in and out of the hospital for the panic attacks and seizures that came as a result. I tried to commit suicide. Someone found out I was cutting myself and I was put into therapy. And even though I stopped hurting myself by the time I entered college, I was still broken. I throw up or cry after having sex, and refused relationships for a long time because I felt to damaged to have a relationship. My anxiety still causes me to have seizures and I am overcoming depression. This past summer, I timelined my life only to realize that my relapses began after that night; it wasn't just me or my personality that was damaged, it was my first boyfriend that pulled the trigger and decimated my happiness. Boyfriends can rape their girlfriends. It's wrong, it's painful, but it's true. And it took me years just to realized the effect that night had on me. Today, I'm in love. Even still, I am guarded and cautious, too afraid my love will be used as ammunition against me. I at least know that I'll be strong enough to take the blow, that no matter how much I'm threatened I will survive. For me to even love someone is powerful, but for me to be so in love with myself speaks volumes. No matter how it happened, how much this event destroyed me, I'm not going to just give up on the rest of my life. I can't afford to, my life is beautiful now. 

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