Fee’s Story: He Was My Best Friend for Years

Fee’s Story: He Was My Best Friend for Years

You have to fight to find yourself again, or you get pulled under by the grief, the fear, the guilt and all the rest of it. You have to find some kind of silver lining, however small, and pull yourself back up. As long as you pick yourself back up each time it overwhelms you, you are winning. It's ok to be overwhelmed sometimes, to need help; just keep getting back up!

An Oregon High School Student’s Story

An Oregon High School Student’s Story

The only thing colder than the temperature outside was the look in his eyes as he saw through who I was into what I was going to be for him. I knew what he had planned when our path skewed away from the gate to the tables. I tried to tell him I needed to go home and that it was too cold "maybe another time". Without a word I was bent over, facing away from him. With a fist full of my hair in one hand he brought his other down on me as if I had committed a crime worth being punished for.

A broken trans university student’s story: He thinks it was consensual and I can’t confront him

A broken trans university student’s story: He thinks it was consensual and I can’t confront him

Even as I'm typing this, I'm terrified that I'm lying, that what happened was consensual. Because I fucking said yes. But you know what? Yes doesn't always mean yes. A mentally unstable, near-suicidal, Autistic sixteen year old girl cannot consent to sex with a mentally stable nineteen year old boy. Hell, that girl can't consent to sex with anyone. But it wasn't her fault. It wasn't my fault. It wasn't my fault.

A 17 year old high school student’s story: September 1997

A 17 year old high school student’s story: September 1997

September 1997 “Man, she’s through!” “I can’t get my d*ck in her for sh*t!” “We doing this jungle style!” “I don’t need my d*ck sucked tonight.” “Hold her leg!” Dialogue of the rapists – I was extremely intoxicated with some

Amber Lee’s Story: He Anally Raped Me

Amber Lee’s Story: He Anally Raped Me

He was my boyfriend. We had a lot of sex—but usually at his parents’ because mine forbade us to in their house. I’d invited him over and since we weren’t allowed in my bedroom, we decided to watch a movie

Bee’s Story: You Ruined My Life

Bee’s Story: You Ruined My Life

I spent a good hour just standing there, not thinking about a damn thing. I remember checking myself. I felt myself down there, and I felt wrong. I was disgusted in myself. How could I let him do that to me?

Courtney B’s Story: While I Was Sleeping

Courtney B’s Story: While I Was Sleeping

But when it actually happened… I froze. I was afraid to move. I wish so badly that I could go back in time and tell that guy to get the hell out of my room. Why didn't l do something? I hate myself for it still.

TR’s Story: The dirty truth: I was raped continuously for over a year by my own boyfriend.

TR’s Story: The dirty truth: I was raped continuously for over a year by my own boyfriend.

So he would say again, “Nobody wants you. You don’t have friends. You don’t need friends, only me.” And it would start over and over again. Being locked all day in a dark room, naked, forced to have sex until my skin was raw, until I was bleeding and hurting, until there was only a fine line between pleasure and pain so that I could tell myself, “It’s not so bad.”

Catherine H.’s Story: My Date Ended in Rape

Catherine H.’s Story: My Date Ended in Rape

I was blamed by people who told me that if you get naked with a guy you should expect them to have sex you. I was also told that as I liked him and I dated him although he forced himself on me it didn't count as rape.

Kate’s Story: I’m Tired of Not Speaking Up

Kate’s Story: I’m Tired of Not Speaking Up

Telling anyone is sometimes the hardest thing imaginable. Let alone going through with the process to seek this person out and doing something about it.

A 19 Year Old College Student’s Story: My Best Friend Raped Me

A 19 Year Old College Student’s Story: My Best Friend Raped Me

I had to go work that morning, and I left feeling numb. I couldn’t even think. How was I supposed to think? That whole day was filled with shock and sickness. The day after that I realized what happened, I was drugged and raped by someone I thought I could trust.

Jean-Paul Bédard’s Story: A Culture of Silence

You’re dirty. You’re disgusting. No one is going to want you now. It’s your fault. You shouldn’t have been there in the first place. You’re an idiot. Why didn’t you fight back? Maybe it wasn’t as bad as you think. Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone what happened.

19 Year Old College Student’s Story: I Asked for It

19 Year Old College Student’s Story: I Asked for It

Next morning he bought us all croissants and took us all for breakfast, he paid for mine and then he walked me to my train to go home. His only words were "Last night was fun huh?" I say "Um… You did me… Without protection…" I kinda giggled a bit, nervously and he replied with "Yeah but whatever, no biggie. Plus, you were the one wiggling your butt and asking for it, dirty little girl!" after a wink… I got on my train, got home, told my mother what happened and she said "Well, you know what you were going to London for!"

Angela’s Story: Here I Am

Angela’s Story: Here I Am

I was closest to my Grandmother. We didn’t talk much, but I never felt the need to always talk with her. I was comfortable with her, and thinking back now I think she was the only person I was truly comfortable with. I trusted her. It was my Grandmother who realized something else was going on. I was pregnant. I may, or may not have fallen down the stairs, but one thing is for sure. I was raped. We didn’t discuss it.

Lindsay’s Story: from Valentine’s Day to Vagina Monologues

Lindsay’s Story: from Valentine’s Day to Vagina Monologues

The emotions I felt were so great I had no idea how to digest them. I had just been raped but I don’t remember any of it. What the fuck !?!? My sister was about an hour and a bit away on the train, my friends were scattered across London and my mum and dad were living in Spain. For the first time in my adult life I felt well and truly alone.

22 Year Old Student’s Story: Was It Rape?

22 Year Old Student’s Story: Was It Rape?

I keep blaming myself because I think I asked for it.. Asked for it with my clothes.. Asked for it by drinking too much.. Asked for it by going to his room..

Anonymous Poem: The Decision Before the Decision

Anonymous Poem: The Decision Before the Decision

a good friend
would have
asked questions
are you okay?
what happened?

Anonymous Story: And It’s My Own Damn Fault

Anonymous Story: And It’s My Own Damn Fault

So I immediately got off of him and said I didn't want to have sex. I'm pretty sure I even apologized. I said it multiple times because he incessantly argued with me. Something about that I HAD to let him. I had to let him finish. I couldn't be a tease. I kept saying no! I can't. I don't want to. No. Sorry. No. The more he argued the more afraid I felt, and the more rapidly I started fading. Then I told him that I really needed to sleep. I was about to pass out I physically can't. No. In my mind I reasoned that it all would be over then. When I passed out he'd realize it wasn't happening and he'd leave.

Anna’s Story: I Didn’t Think Twice

Anna’s Story: I Didn’t Think Twice

I may have been intoxicated but I KNEW this was not what I wanted.
I asked him to stop, and unlike so many other stories, he actually did.
Because of this, I never considered it rape.
I still don't even know what to call it.
But I know it wasn't right.
I know it wasn't consensual and I know he took advantage of me.

Heather’s Story: March 1 (19, College Freshman)

Heather’s Story: March 1 (19, College Freshman)

I woke up naked, confused, and with a blaring headache. Next to me is this guy, naked as well. I check my phone, it's 5 a.m. I get up and leave. I call a friend, because I'm alone and scared. He said, "you know how you get when you drink. I doubt it was for

Anonymous Story: S&M (Sexism & Manipulation)

Anonymous Story: S&M (Sexism & Manipulation)

The commonalities I have with the other brave women who have come forward are what made me realize how wrong it all was. Reading the stories was like having my mind read. I sunk deeper with feelings of guilt and disgust. I was part of an intricate web woven by a man who was manipulative and powerful. I fell for every carefully constructed, tried and true line he fed me. He played his game with me as he played it with so many women before me. I was another woman to add to his collection.

JKL’s Story: Naive and Hormonal

JKL’s Story: Naive and Hormonal

I still find it hard to not think it was my fault, to not think I was leading him on, to not think I was stupid to be there alone and perhaps I was but a normal person would not have date raped me…..they may have taken advantage in a "normal" fashion but I would have been coherent and able to fight it off, call for help, run away…whatever.

K.Y.’s Story: Twice, never reported.

K.Y.’s Story: Twice, never reported.

The next day I left to my own city and got a rape kit done. The clinician there informed me that because alcohol was involved " it would be more harm than good to report this to the police." " You'll just end up spending a year or more in court reliving the experience, and you likely won't get anything from it"

A Jacobs’s Story: The Abuse was Bad – the Opinions Even Worse

A Jacobs’s Story: The Abuse was Bad – the Opinions Even Worse

When I did crawl into bed he started to stir, I mentioned that I was home and safe. As soon as I had made a comfortable little cocoon for myself he was pinning me to the bed with his knees forcing himself in my mouth.

Elizabeth’s Story: I Hope Everyone Can Heal From This

Elizabeth’s Story: I Hope Everyone Can Heal From This

I spent eight hours in the hospital getting evidence documented, there was an 18-month "investigation", and no charges were ever laid. I was told that because I willingly went to my attacker’s apartment, it would be too hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Anonymous Story: Scared Little Girl in the Basement

Anonymous Story: Scared Little Girl in the Basement

Turning off the lights and putting on the movie Speed, she retreated to the living room where she completely forgot about us. How the event came about is a mystery to me, but the four boys eventually ran out of things to occupy them and decided to experiment with me. Some older and some younger than me, they pinned me down, removed their and my underwear and simulated a gang rape.

Joy Ward’s Story: Broken Bottles

Joy Ward’s Story: Broken Bottles

This is my story –of a 13-year-old victim who reported to the police in 1956. Ancient history? Perhaps, but it may give some insight into why victims don't report and the surreal experience of doing so. That said, I firmly believe that victims should speak out and identify themselves. It is not their shame! Not publishing names "in order to protect the victim" implies that somehow it is the victim's shame. Rapists are the ones who deserve to be identified and shamed.

A source of strength’s Story: When Does the Healing Begin?

A source of strength’s Story: When Does the Healing Begin?

I got a text from him saying he was outside my apartment and wanted to say goodbye. I let him into my apartment. I lived in a small studio apartment so we were sitting on my bed chatting. Then he kissed me and pushed me down. He got on top of me and held my hands above my head. He pinned me down and with his other hand took off my underwear. I was begging him to stop and was yelling no but my cries went unheard. I was finally able to kick and push him off of me.

Dawn’s Story: Knowing No Childhood

Dawn’s Story: Knowing No Childhood

Life went on as normal, everyone pretended that everything was fine and that nothing had happened. No one but a few close friends that I had finally confided in knew what had happened. But that kind of secret, festers and boils below the surface until one day the cracks start to appear.

Paula’s Story: Trusted Men of Uniform

Paula’s Story: Trusted Men of Uniform

I bluffed my way out of being taken. I took a deep breath and turned on the predator, looked him in the eye with wrath and then side stepped and began to walk toward a truck in the next parking

Lisa M.’s Story: I was just a little girl, all alone and scared.

Lisa M.’s Story: I was just a little girl, all alone and scared.

I was 12 years old when I became "the victim" of the unspeakable and life has never been the same for me and it never will. I can't tell you honestly how many times I was sexually assaulted as a child because I've hidden from the memories for so long by the age of 14 I could no longer cope so I turned to drugs,alcohol and anything else I could find to make me feel better if even for a moment. Maybe that's why I can remember only bits and pieces of those years.

A. DuPont’s Story: He was in a boy band

A. DuPont’s Story: He was in a boy band

After a little bit of time has passed, his friends pin you down as they lift up your shirt, lift up your bra. They draw a “smiley” face on your breasts and stomach. Your nipples are circled— the eyes, your bellybutton— the nose. And just above your pubic hair—the smile. You wiggle and scream, but they are bigger and stronger than you, not to mention they outnumber you five to one. You cry and they laugh. You feel both embarrassed and ashamed.

Anonymous A’s Story: I didn’t know it was rape

Anonymous A’s Story: I didn’t know it was rape

I still get nervous if sex isn't on my terms or if I'm at all unsure about it. I sometimes don't go to parties if I'm not certain that I can leave when I want to. I've had more supportive therapists, but I'm still not over it, and it's been almost three or four years. I feel like I don't deserve to call myself a rape victim because I didn't say no. My rapist doesn't consider himself a rapist. I don't like telling the story because I'm always afraid someone will say, "That's not rape. You just made a stupid decision." I've since realized that I've done this before; the second time I had sex, no one asked my permission. The guy just stuck his penis in me without even asking if I wanted to use a condom. I was inexperienced. I just went along with it. I thought maybe that was how people who'd had a lot of sex had sex. And now that I know it wasn't okay and that it wasn't consensual, I feel so stupid and unsure about almost every subsequent sexual decision I've ever made.

Ellie’s Story: I am a survivor, not a victim

Ellie’s Story: I am a survivor, not a victim

Having a “friend” turn into an aggressive monster forcing you to do incredibly intimate things while you beg him not to is terrifying. When I woke up, I noticed the clothes I had been wearing were on the floor and I burst into tears because I knew that I didn’t wake up from a nightmare I could forget, instead I woke up to a horrible reality.

Shaindel Beers: After Sharing my Story

Shaindel Beers: After Sharing my Story

The one lesson that I have taken from having this piece published is that we need better education for men. Rape and sexual harassment are not “women’s issues.” These issues hurt everyone. Men need to know what to do when they see a woman being disrespected. A lot of the rhetoric is troubling – Would you want someone to treat your mother that way? Or your sister? – because women should be valued not in relation to someone else but just as people. I don’t know how to get us there.

Anonymous Story: I think it may have been the same guy.

Anonymous Story: I think it may have been the same guy.

I had a similar experience before leaving [that town] and think it may have been the same guy. I was called all sorts of horrible names over the next days, weeks, and beyond because he bragged to the rest of the guys and even his female friends about it.

Danielle Tansino’s Story: Jurors don’t like girls that drink

On the night of April 28, 2011, Red My Lips founder, Danielle Tansino (then 29), was out with friends. She was later isolated and raped by a childhood friend of her then housemate. After filing a police report, and following a traumatic experience with the court system, she was told by a female district attorney that they would not prosecute because, "Jurors don't like girls that drink."

P.W.’s Story: I should have known he was a predator

P.W.’s Story: I should have known he was a predator

The little voice in the back of my head nagged at me. You don’t know this guy, your friends don’t know where you are, and this is a bad idea. Before I had a chance to change my mind the door opened and I was engulfed by his good looks and charming smile. I think he sensed my inexperience as I stood there awkwardly in the doorway.

Finding Fierce’s Story: The Fight Inside

My mother once told me she had had second thoughts
about getting us vaccinated, my brothers and I.
About sullying our pristine, trusting little bodies
with dark potential.

This is how I feel about something else
that happened to me then.
The unwanted touch like the needle.
An unfamiliar dis-ease shot under my smooth, new skin.

Poem: The other side of the door

Poem: The other side of the door

The room is dark and cool, it smells like hot metal and the air is dry.</br>
A lullaby of ominous whispers consumes my subconscious, if I try to eavesdrop they fall silent.</br>
Slivers of lavender light dance on sharp edges of images you don't want in your head.</br>
Images you couldn't, shouldn't, don't imagine.</br>