“I am not my sexual assault”

I will no longer be shamed into silence. I am no longer ashamed.

The past year and a half has been the most difficult time of my life. From a sexual assault to an abusive relationship, I have been hurt, desensitized, and challenged beyond belief.

Acknowledgement is the hardest. I entered college as a freshman, full of naïve fears regarding field hockey preseason fitness testing, where I would fit into the social hierarchy, and whether I could live up to my both of my alumni parents’ tacit expectations. On October 27th I was violently sexually assaulted.

I have been called “crazy,” “a social liability,” and “a liar.” I have been told that it was “just a bad hookup,” that I didn’t deserve any better, and that my life was over. I have had full beer cans thrown at my head by a group of boys as they chanted that I should have kept my mouth shut. I have had a grown man hold me by my shoulders, inches from my face, shaking me and screaming repeatedly: “You fucking cunt. Fucking bitch.”

People are conditioned to believe and say what they want, but no amount of repetition makes a falsehood true. Your identity can become their perception… if you let it. But my situation is not a piece of gossip. It is a reality, and an all too present one. I am sharing my story for those who have been in my position: silenced, victimized, and overwhelmingly isolated. You are not alone.

The truth is that I am not his perception and I am not yours. I am not what has been done to me.

I am me and I am strong.