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.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

I wrote my story out for Speak Out in the fall. I attended the event and sobbed as I heard my words read back to me. It was simultaneously healing and heart breaking. I just barely got through that semester, and I'm on my way to finishing this one. I can tell you that 5 months later, I am doing better. Not all the way back to where I used to be, but I've grown. In the last 5 months, I have taken a trip to Europe by myself- a trip that helped me prove to myself that my rapist wouldn't scare me away from the whole continent of Europe. I was able to reassert some power in a continent where I lost all of mine. That would be my big win of the last 5 months. But I also recently was able to look in the mirror while I brushed my teeth for the very first time since my rape. I have finally gotten to the point where I can leave my door unlocked while I sleep- the next goal is to leave it cracked. I've met someone that makes me believe that not all men are the same. A man that I've only known for a short time but has already showed me such kindness and tenderness. One that didn't try to be physical the first time we met, but when we were finally intimate was so incredibly gentle, I couldn't even begin to compare the two experiences. 

I guess why I'm writing this is to let the people in the crowd that are probably feeling exactly the way I did 5 months ago, recovery doesn't get easier, dealing with triggers doesn't get easier, but you become stronger. Suddenly the little things that used to be incredibly difficult to deal with, feels like chump change. I have a long way to go, but I can't even express to you how excited I was the first day I looked into the mirror while I brushed my teeth. How small it may seem to some, but what a huge victory in my eyes.

So survivors that are sitting in the crowd, you are absolutely loved and so brave to be fighting through each day having any experience with sexual assault weighing on your heart. You can step backwards and then forwards and then backwards and then forwards, but eventually you'll get to a place where you can handle a lot of it. You'll have your days, but you will be able to handle it. You are so so loved, and so so brave. Take care of yourself and find people to surround yourself with that will remind you of what an incredible person you are, because you are worth it. 

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