[Live blog] Hundreds Turn Out For ‘It Happens Here’: Stories of Sexual Assault

 UPDATE: Their website is now live with stories both in print and audio. Also there will be an opportunity from to discuss the stories and sexual assault in general from 5:30-7:00PM in Redfield proctor. Here is one of them:

 

 

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A full McCullough Social Space

‘It Happens Here,’ a sexual assault awareness event organized by a diverse group of students who want to “start conversations about the complexities of sexual assault on our campus,” is going on right now. The group has been collecting anonymous monologues from students about their personal stories of sexual assault. 23 students submitted poems and monologues describing personal experiences with sexual violence. 5 students will be reading their very own stories aloud.

Here are some more details from their about page:

We hope to share anonymous student monologues with the school describing personal experiences with sexual violence, sexual disrespect, or even miscommunication. We want to hear your stories. This project wants the girl who wasn’t sure, the boy who never said no but also never said yes, the person who decided to touch first and ask later, and the one who was violently raped. It needs the guy who intervened when a girl couldn’t stand up, the one who was roofied and the person who dropped in the pill.

Right now these monologues are being read aloud. This is the second annual ‘It Happens Here’ event, and it’s not only filled up McCullough Social Space (nearly 400 capacity), but spilled into Crossroads as well (probably another hundred people, with more coming in now)…

 

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…where it is being projected.

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Both rooms are completely silent. The stories have been honest, detailed, and frequently graphic. Familiar names like “Atwater” and “orientation” and “winter ball” and “Tavern” are jarring to hear in conjunction with deeply disturbing stories of everything from verbal assault to rape. Two students have also given spoken word performances about personal experiences with sexual assault.

Here are a very, very few (rough) quotes we’ve heard so far (these by no means do the monologues justice, but hopefully will provide a hint of the sorts of things expressed in the event happening on OUR campus). We will keep updating this:

“To this day i have never felt so worthless as i did in that moment.”

“Why does consent mean not saying no instead of enthusiastically saying yes?”

“I pushed him back saying I was a virgin and I wasn’t okay with it. But I couldn’t say no again…I could only imagine what he shoved into me was two fingers because one couldn’t possibly be that painful.”

“I am the first generation of my family no to be raped. I am writing this so other women can say the same.”

“Every day I walk around and I feel like I am dead. There is something heavy in me. Something rotten.”

“I made it very clear I was a virgin and wanted to wait until marriage…one night he rolled over and put his penis on my vagina saying ‘don’t you trust me?! don’t you trust me?!’ …apparently he thought my distress was funny…”

“They hadn’t said stop but they hadn’t given consent either… it took them weeks to come to terms with it…I will never be able to forgive those two guys (in Tavern)…this has to stop at all costs.”

“I thought that telling my story [at last year's 'It Happens Here' event] would finally make it go away but it’s just made it more real.”

“He yanked my pants and underwear down. I tried to resist but I was about to pass out…he shoved his penis into my vagina and started thrusting…As he raped me from the front I rolled over, the only movement I could make and he started raping me from behind. He raped me both ways until he suddenly  left. I was too drunk to know if he was using protection…I woke up bleeding and hung over… I was panicking and had no one turn to.”

“I can not be destroyed by the powerful and all mighty…penis…I am your nightmare because I will speak and I will not stay silent.” Can’t quote the rest of this last one, way too powerful to summarize …People starting to leave Crossroads now, to process I’m sure.

“He pushed me against the washing machines and penetrated me. Then  pulled out and came on my stomach. I was in shock. Having sex for the first time in a laundry room without a condom was not even a possibility I could have ever imagined.”

‘It Happens Here website’  will be live after the event with all of the stories told this evening.

9:50PM: After nearly two and a half hours, the 23 stories have been told. Several second standing ovation as the readers stand up at the front of the stage.

9:56PM Discussion starting outside the social space.

Another opportunity to discuss what we just heard will take place tomorrow night from 5:30-7:00PM in Redfield proctor.

  • MCat

    Thank you to everyone who shared their stories. Very glad I went.

  • L

    That was tremendously needed, Much love to you all.