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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 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.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I lost nearly a year and a half of my life to domestic violence. I can't talk too much about that time yet. I'm not ready, and I don't know that I ever will be. And that's really okay with me- forgetting is welcome. What I can talk about is my survival story. After the violence started, I tried to breakup with him about once a week but it just never seemed to be possible. There was sobbing and begging, insistences that "I'll do better" and "I'm trying my best." If I didn't respond to that manipulation, there was begging me to just have "one last dinner" or "one last movie" and by the end of that dinner or movie I was back with him. It may seem incomprehensible that this mess kept me so long, but I cannot describe how hard it is to leave someone you love, someone who is in genuine pain, someone who blames you for their pain and after that propaganda you believe it. 

After months of trying and failing to leave, and a particularly violent assault, and the realization that I no longer loved him, I broke up with him in the only safe way I could- via text message. And I was free. For a whole week, and the best week in my memory, I was free. Until he begged me to come over, telling me he was really worried about me and wanted to make sure I was doing okay. It was bullshit, and when I came over, he raped me. I didn't try to leave again. Instead, I convinced myself that there was nothing wrong and I was safe and this was only helped by his "honeymoon period"- being a sweet and doting partner so I wouldn't leave again. 

I didn't leave again for 7 months. And when I did, I left for good. That was three beautiful months ago and I haven't seen him in two and a half. The last time I saw him, to drop off his stuff, he raped me for the last time. That entire night seemed like a collage of painful scenes, the details and transitions I cannot remember- begging him to stop, passing out, coming conscious, stumbling out the front door with him yelling at me to come back, falling into my car and driving until I felt safe. I remember sitting on the side of the road, sick to my stomach on the side of MLK, and crawling into my bed. I was in pain, confused, but also knew that I was done. It was over. 

That part of my story is pain, suffering, and over. "Everything happens for a reason" is complete bullshit and I would love nothing more than to erase that part of my life. But feeling even slight happiness after a year and a half of immense suffering is the most cathartic, gleeful joy that I have ever felt. The closest way I can describe the last three months of my life is as I've been drowning as long as I can remember, and now I can put my head above water and breathe.

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