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.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My rape didn't happen on campus, but my road to recovery did. I was just about to leave to study abroad here at UNC when I was sexually assaulted. I had been drinking but nothing out of the ordinary. We were in an LGBT nightclub so I was less wary than normal, less precautious. I felt safe. I was wrong to. My friends say I wandered off (alone) in the direction of the loos and they didn't think too much of it until I didn't come back. The first thing I remember I was at an ATM with a guy I've never seen before standing over me, waiting on me to withdraw cash. I didn't know where I was or who I was with. I know I shouldn't have but I was drunk and confused and I didn't know where I was or how I got there so I told him my address and trusted him to get me home safely. I thought if I pretended to be asleep he would leave me alone. He didn't. All I can remember is the pain. Saying "stop, you're hurting me" over and over. It was as if I wasn't even there. I felt so guilty for so long about why I didn't kick or scream or punch him. I just lay there, paralysed with fear. At some point I managed to run from him and lock myself in the bathroom. I also managed to write my flatmates a note for when they returned from the club, asking them to help me make him leave because I was in so much pain. I don't know when I did that - all I can remember is laying there, not fighting back, just whimpering about the pain. When my flatmates found the note, the male one of them came in and made the guy leave. The next part was the clearest of it all. He said "Did he make you do anything?" and I just cried and nodded my head as my other flatmate watched. My flatmate then took chase after my assailant, who had the nerve to stop and give my friend my purse back which he had obviously tried to steal as he left. He thought the theft was why he was being chased. My friends tried to make my call the police but for some reason I had been doing the health forms for student blue and they ask if you had ever been sexually assaulted and I didn't want to not get my visa to come here so, not thinking straight I didn't call. I spent the next 3 days crying and showering. I had to sleep on the sofa in my friend's room because I couldn't bear being alone. It was at this point, after searching everywhere for my keys that I realised my rapist had them. This is when I called the police, went to a sexual health clinic and rang my landlord to have my locks changed.

The initial police team were not the sexual assault specialist team. The main cop kept telling me that I was embarrassed, took my male flatmate's statement but not the female flatmate's, did not take the evidence that the lady from the sexual health clinic had told me to provide, and as I found out the next day when I was contacted by the specialist team, he had written in his notes that the sex “was consensual”. I didn't go to class at all for a couple of weeks but my university was understanding.

I had a pretty rough break but was okayish until I moved here, that was when I had my first panic attack. CAPS have been fantastic. When I initially seen this thread I was reluctant to share my story. However, I recently found out that one of my good friends in my home city had been raped last month, just 2 months after me. She didn’t tell me, because I hadn’t told her about my experience, until she was hospitalised after attempting to overdose. I was so ashamed that my own fear stopped me from helping her.

I know it is not my fault that this happened to me, nor is it my fault that it happened to others. However I feel guilty to have not been there to provide my knowledge and experience of the aftermath process. Groups like this are so very important and I am grateful and proud of all the women and men who have survived through ordeals of this nature and used their pain to make change and help others. Thank you guys so very much, you’re inspirational. 

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