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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, 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.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Growing up the tension in my home was usual and almost normal. My mom and I would stay up late at night on the weekends waiting for my dad to come back home from his nights out. Sometimes my mom would just go to bed frustrated because he didn’t come back from his drinking binges. I was probably 7 when I first saw my drunken dad smack my mom on the face after she was arguing with him about how drunk he was and the fact that he would regularly drive like this. My mom sat there and cried and then went to sleep in my room. I was probably 10 when my dad pointed a rifle at me and my mom as we sat on my bed. He said he would kill us both if my mom didn’t come back to their room. I felt fear for my mom every time he got drunk because of course she didn’t want to sleep in the same room as him but he would get aggressive about it. Time after time I endured his drunken shouts, him threatening us and slapping my mom and sometimes he would punch holes in the wall. Our house was full of huge holes in the wall where he would kick and punch them in his rages. But we never spoke about this and the next day after his rages it was like nothing had happened. My mom finally separated from him last year but can’t legally divorce him for financial reasons yet. Mostly because of my financial aid and it kills me that she has to stay legally married to him until I graduate in two years. He takes advantage of this to stalk her and show up at the house at night to threaten her. He tells her he’ll kill any man that she dates or that she’ll regret talking to men. He tells my mom that he’ll leave forever and never contact me and my sister again if she doesn’t get back with him. He also says he wants to die in order to make her feel bad. Yet this is so usual to us that my mom insists I still maintain a relationship with him. So I have to answer his texts and talk to him when he picks me up from campus on weekends and we act like everything is normal. I actually wonder sometimes if I’m overreacting for wanting to never talk to him again. It has taken me so long to realize that he’s a manipulator and emotional abuser especially when he acts the victim and starts crying about how my mom ruined their marriage. I honestly don’t feel that I know what love is or what normal relationships are like. I don’t know whether or not I should stop talking to him despite my mom’s insistence that I do or if I should demand apologies from him. I don’t know if one day he’ll show up at our house at 4 am and punch my mom or if he’ll escalate the stalking. I don’t know if one day some man will slap me and threaten to stalk me and all I’ll do is think it’s okay or feel helpless. I honestly feel crazy sometimes for questioning whether or not this has been as bad as I’m saying it is and the fact that intimate relationships with guys make my anxiety go through the roof. No one knows about what my life growing up has been like, not even my family and I feel so much shame for my mother, me , and my sister.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I give you all permission to use this testimonial at the event :)