Welcome to Break the Silence at Vassar.
Check out our About/FAQ page to learn more about the project and our goals of raising awareness about and preventing personal violation and see the answers to some frequently asked questions. Any additional questions you have about the project can be submitted on this page.
If you want to reach out for help or someone to talk to, the Resources page lists organizations both on- and off- campus who can offer you assistance. UPDATE: JYA Resources have been added to the Resources page. Please let us know if you have any suggestions for additional resources, JYA or other.
Additionally, we have a new Get Informed page which offers helpful information regarding some of the language used on this site and elsewhere in conversation about personal violation, as well as suggestions for productive discussion about personal violation.
Thank you for sharing.
TRIGGER WARNING: The stories below contain explicit descriptions of rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, relationship abuse, and other forms of personal violation.
On Friday night I decided that in order to cope with seeing my rapist at the same party as me, I should drink a lot more than I could handle. Before I knew it, I was completely wasted and crying in another friend’s room, telling her and my rapist’s hook up that he had raped me three times.
I texted my best friend, telling them, “I need you.” When they walked into my other friend’s room, I gave them the biggest hug. I remember asking them why we were growing apart, and said that by them not talking to me without an explanation, they were hurting me. They apologized. There might’ve been more to that conversation, but for the life of me I cannot remember. All I remember was resting my head on their shoulder and being lulled to sleep by the screaming another person in the car was making, I felt safe.
To be quite frank, this whole week I have been in pain because I feel like I fucked up on so many levels.
We can talk about how I realized I need to step out of some people’s lives because I’m too preoccupied with my safety and wanting to reclaim control over my life. We can talk about how I’ve been self-harming for a whole year because of my rapist, and that self-harm doesn’t always look like slits on your wrist, it looks like downing a bottle of vodka within an hour and then chasing it with your friend’s glass of moscato. We can talk about how I either have PTSD or I just need to get over what happened. We can talk about rape culture, and how my rapist will never learn his lesson because he does not understand what the fuck he’s doing. We can talk about racism and how for centuries WOC has stayed quiet so MOC perps won’t be targeted by racist institutions. Let’s talk about the countless nights I cannot sleep, or I wake up in my sleep, and I am terrified to go (back) to sleep. Let’s talk about how I am so scared of intimacy, of being lulled into an abusive relationship. Let’s talk about how my ex-boyfriend never learned (and never wanted to) about how to deal with survivors of sexual assault and subsequently blamed me for what happened. Let’s talk about whether I should report or not.
But I’m scared to talk about the fact that I may have just pushed the person closest to me further away, and I’m not sure what to do anymore. I don’t want to burden anyone with my trauma.
I’m scared of losing my best friend because of something someone did to me a year and four months ago.
I had never noticed that I was raped before Vassar. Somehow I was thinking that what happened to me was my own fault and I should blame nobody but myself. When I was 20, not one but two men raped me on my birthday. One of them was my ex boyfriend. I could not sleep for days.
This is my story of abuse and rape.
Back when I was 18 I met a guy. Handsome. Caring. Romantic. Everything was perfect. I was in love. Or I thought it was love. First couple months were more than perfect. After that the abuse started. He was insulting me and everything. I was in depression. But also I did not want to lose him. I made everything. He was coming to my apartment with his friends and drinking my dad’s drinks. He stole my money. He used my credit card without my permission. One time, he slapped me in front of his mother and father. He beat me and his dad saved me. God knows what could have happened otherwise? And I was so desperate that I could not say anything. He was lying to me and I knew it inside. Though I was trying to convince myself that he was speaking the truth. After every incident I was telling myself that I would never ever see him again and change my phone number, delete him from everywhere. We broke up a lot. But I was so stupid to forgive him again and again. After a while we were not lovers. We were just hooking-up. Our relationship was over. I was his booty call. Anyone who read this would call me an idiot. Now when I look back I call myself an idiot as well but at that time I was totally unaware of the situation.
Last year on my birthday I was drinking and having good time with my friends. One of my friends also knew my ex boyfriend. They were texting and my ex boyfriend invited us. We went to his place. My friend had to go back to her home my ex boyfriend said to me: You should go to. He did not even said me happy birthday. I went back to home, crying and remembering all those horrible things. The friend of my ex texted me: He was confused. He really wants to apologize please come back be our guest.
I went back to my ex’s place. They got drinks. I was refusing to drink more but they made me drink. I was drunk and barely able to speak. They started to touch my breast and kissing me. I wish I could tell it in detail. I can’t. They raped me at the same time. After that, I threw up and felt I sleep.
Next morning, I felt ashamed, weak. I felt like a slut. They threated me as I am a slut. I had never thought that I was raped though. But now I know: that wasn’t my fault. But I have to live with this.
About 6 months after, I saw my ex in a bar. He said to me that I could I have slapped him and his friend and go. It was so easy to say that like I ever had a chance.
We’d been friends for a while. I guess about a year at that point. We were on ecstasy. Three of us laying together in bed. He reached over and started to feel around the front of my waste band. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t say anything. Eventually we all just went to sleep. Later that week just the two of us in bed. I was on my side with my back to him. I felt him press into me. Kiss my shoulder, the back of my neck. I felt his hand come around to my crotch. Wow. I never realized. I’ve pushed those memories so far back. How tense I feel now, writing it. I rolled over, pretending to be asleep. I remember laying there wishing so much that he would stop. A few more times. One in particular. Again sleeping beside him. I woke up and we was spooning me, his hand on my stomach. I felt so sick and pushed myself against the wall. Too afraid to move him away. We’re still friends. I don’t know if I’ll ever confront him about any of this. I don’t know if that would make me feel any better. I hated him for a long time after the first few incidents and I think I’m now beginning to realize why.
What’s weird about this for me is that she has her own story on here, and it’s way worse. Doesn’t matter how much I resent her for the year she put me through, she doesn’t deserve the brutal, violent assault she survived and still carries with her. I mean, what right do I even have to complain? Plenty of people would argue that my experience wasn’t rape, while no one in their right mind would deny that in her case. So what kind of whiny little shit am I to accuse her?
The kind of whiny shit that was so scared of a lovers’ quarrel that I agreed to sex just to avoid a fight. That didn’t even realize that things like “then what did I get all dressed up for?” and “so what, you think I’m ugly?” and even just breaking down in tears when I refused sex should all have been huge warning signs. The kind that still remembers that icy mix of dread, fear, and hate I felt as I soothed your erratic ego at the cost of my own self-respect. Who still feels it when you write on my wall, trying to be friends again.
The irony in all this is your total devotion to sex-positive feminism. You’d think someone who identifies so strongly with sex positivism and gender equality would make sure she didn’t use emotional manipulation to rape her goddamn boyfriend, but hey, everyone has their blind spots. But hey, mine don’t make me rape people. So fuck you and the baggage you had before your own personal tragedy. (This all happened before her own victimization.) You need to get over it if you wanna practice what you preach.
I still don’t have words. Part of me still wants to confront you, but…
I am certain, though, that I am surviving through this because of my strength and the collective strength of all other survivors out there. I look back and wonder how it is/was possible to have wasted so much on one person and come out of it being betrayed, taken advantage of – and the part which hurts the most: that you blamed me for it.
You will no longer have a hold on me. I am determined to heal.
To my best friend’s brother: even if I didn’t have a boy friend at the time, I’m not sure if I would have said no. I liked you, I think. You were older, attractive. I was a freshman, you were a junior, and things were not going well with my current high school boyfriend. But I was so drunk that now it’s all a blurry, indefinite mess of memory and I have no idea how I feel about it. I am mad at you for being ignorant, sober and unyielding. I am mad at your vice-like grip, your fingers that undid my buttoned shirt and so much more. It doesn’t count, I told myself. I have a boyfriend, I barely even remember it now so it doesn’t count. I didn’t even remember it until the second time, when I was single, and as you pushed my head down I was assaulted with bits of memory: your hand, groping, your mouth, grabbing, lying like we were now, but with me immobile against the wall. “No, no, I can’t…no…stop, this isn’t a good idea.” As I swallowed it hit me that this was not the first time I had been in this position with you. “How drunk are you?” you asked me then. Too drunk to respond, to know better. I didn’t tell your sister. You had already ruined two of her closest relationships through similar tactics. It took me two times to remember the first; the fact that I have memories that could still be hidden, waiting for a trigger, and this makes me feel more violated than ever. After the second time, I thought of it as a hook up. But as the memories slowly trickle in, I realize that it was more than that. I said no. I could barely see, walk, even stand. But I still said no.
It scares me that I had these secrets locked up inside me, secrets that even I did not know. What other secrets do I hold? When will the onslaught of truth return? Now I am only confused, but then I was confident in my words…no, no, I cant…no…stop…