Many victims and survivors of sexual assault feel that sharing their story, or even just portions of their story, has empowered them and has been a key part of their healing and activism.
The following stories were shared by survivors of sexual violence at Colorado State University. The rawness and vulnerability in these narratives speak to the courage of survivors on our campus, and beyond. May these words encourage all of us to remain steadfast in the fight to end sexual violence.
I am not a writer. But since it is April, I have some thoughts. April When I was young, April was one of my favorite times of year. Blooming flowers, spring showers, and warmer weather. I loved April Until I was 19 I was 19 19 is a weird age in adolescence. Push and pull with your parents for independence, new relationships, break ups, college, jobs 19 is the age I was when I went through my first heartbreak 19 is the age that I was raped It was just supposed to be a date. I didn’t even want to go out with him. He was rude and pushy, but I decided to go anyways and ghost him afterwards. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. And the goodness of my own heart. Until I was 19, I believed that the world was good, or mostly good at least. Until
I was a super shy kid. I lived in a volatile and violent home, and I became a survivor of sexual violence at the age of 4. My parents were addicts – dad took lots of pills, and mom drank a 12-pack every night. They justified it because their addictions were legal, but that didn’t make me or my brothers feel any better. My parents’ addictions were enough that we wore clothes with holes in them and they complained about money all the time, but they could always afford their vices. Childhood was a difficult time for me. When I was 12, I was skating toward depression and suicidal ideation. I toyed with self-harm in my head, but I wouldn’t actually rake a blade against my skin until a little while later. When I was 12, I could still pretend our lives weren’t completely out of control. When I was
I met my abuser at work when I was 18. Our first “date” happened after he offered me a ride home one night. Instead of taking me back to my dorm, he decided we were getting food and going to see a movie first. I was too scared to tell him no, and that night turned out okay. We started dating shortly after, and the red flags began to pile up. He would frequently make domestic violence jokes, grab my wrists and “playfully” push me around. On December 23, 2014, we were drinking at his apartment and watching movies. After I stated I was feeling drunk and lay down to go to sleep, he demanded I perform oral sex on him. When I told him no, he disrobed from the waist down and pushed himself into my bare back. He only stopped because I screamed and he was worried his
I was assaulted a couple times by my ex while we were still together, but I didn’t even realize it until after I had broken up with them (for other reasons). Several times, I would spend the night and in the morning I would find myself having sex with them but not remember waking up or starting. I realized that they had started touching me or having sex with me while I was still asleep. This continued after we had broken up and remained friends. They wanted to be friends with benefits but I told them several times I didn’t want a sexual relationship. This was their way of pretending like I had consented to sleeping with them. I’d bring up that I didn’t want to have sex anymore and they would blow me off saying that I’d said that in the past but still slept with them. I had
People always ask why someone didn’t leave their abusive relationship sooner than they did. I used to be one of those people who always thought, “Well I would never get stuck in one of those relationships because after the first time they hurt me, I would just leave.” But it wasn’t that easy. I didn’t even realize how bad it had gotten until one particularly bad weekend. February 26, 2021 was one of the worst nights of my life, and going home afterwards felt like I had been in a deep sleep and someone finally came to wake me up. I was confused, disoriented, and I didn’t know what to do. Realistically I knew I had to leave before he could do anything worse, but I was terrified. Terrified that he would retaliate with more violence, but also terrified that I would be alone again. See, he had come back
I was about 14 turning 15 soon and this boy I was talking to was about 18. We went out on dates and then became official. Unfortunately, he ended up raping me and the whole case went to court even though I did not want it to. I ended up losing the case and did not get justice. After a couple years, he did it again to another girl and I was called back into court to support the other victim. That victim did get justice and so in whole I felt like I did too but in reality I didn’t. It’s hard to go through life with all this on your shoulders, it is. But the fact that I am still here is a sign that I should be here and I’ve been doing good. Am I more protective over family and friends? Yes, but I’ve had to come
I went over to your house seeking help from a friend after my breakup with the guy I was dating for 2.5 years. I went to get comfort from you. I’ve known you for four years. You’ve been to my house so many times. I’ve been to yours too. Our families are such good friends and that is why I cannot tell my parents what you did to me. I went to your house on May 21, 2021 when my parents were gone on a trip. At 10:00pm I told you I had to get home. At 10:30 you did it. You manipulated and guilt tripped me into doing it. That doesn’t mean it was consensual. I told you no a million times and that I had to go take care of my dogs. You didn’t care. You took what you wanted anyways. You used me when I was already
This guy had been a friend (previously gone on a few dates, but just never worked out like that) for a couple of years. We used to go grab Sonic late at night and just talk, so when he texted if I wanted to hang out, it didn’t seem strange for me to accept. He said if we could stop by a mutual’s house, and I was okay with that. They began smoking weed and offered me some. I had only smoked like twice before this night and had a really low tolerance. I didn’t realize how much stronger the pen they had was than what I had done before. I only remember it being super late, and in my head, it made sense that we would have to stay the night. So we laid on the ground to go to bed, and the last thing I remember was his
I had written this letter to my ex-partner/rapist in February when I had finally managed to break things off with him for the last time. I had written out the entire thing and gave it to him. I’m not sure if he ever read it, if he ever truly knew the damage that he did to me. This letter means a lot to me and it’s still extremely difficult to read back. It is truly painful knowing I let him do some of these things to me and knowing he is still out there doing this to other women. I don’t even know where to begin with my feelings for you at this point. I originally started this letter with a bunch of positives but holy shit i fucking hate you. You lied to me our entire relationship. You were in love with your ex and you made me the
It was Halloween night. I think about that night a lot because that’s the night I lost my best friend and I lost myself. I think about how he grabbed me and how we threw me. I think about the walk hitting my skin and how at the time he said he was just helping me. I believed he was holding me back to protect me, but then his names grabbed different parts of my body. The parts he was “protecting” ended up hurting me. They damaged me. I remember feeling the bruises the next morning all over me. The colors came later. But what I think about the most, is how I still say there and thought of his well-being. I knew if I were to report him, he would lose that full ride. I knew that I didn’t want to ruin his life just like how he just
This year is my first year attending CSU. On the weekend of the first football game this year I was raped by another freshman in the dorm I was living in. He kept giving me alcohol and then brought me back to his room. He started kissing me, fingering me, licking all over me, and then raped me. I was a virgin. He never asked if anything was okay to do to me. I was too drunk to stop it. After he came I left to go to the bathroom and realized my keys to my room were in his room. I went back to get my keys and he told me “Is it bad if I’m horny again” and then raped me a second time. I passed out in his bed. When I woke up I could not remember anything from the night before until I found blood in