February 18, 2014


When I found out through the grapevine that my cousin had been raped, I was in high school, and all of the details were, I knew lots of alcohol was involved, that they had dated at one time...and I didn't really get it.  I thought she was dumb, drinking too much at a party and making too much of her doing something stupid.  She had always been a drama queen (still is, actually).  But then, being in college, and around boyfriends and other guys changed my opinions.  What happened to her was horrible.  Just because she didn't say no because she was drunk doesn't mean she wanted to have sex.

There have been some things in my past where I look back and wonder has this happened to me...?  And I don't really have the best answer.  The line between simply a bad experience and being violated is fuzzy, at least to me.  If you judge it by the shame I felt afterwards, then yeah, there's no question.  But these things happened so long ago that I'd rather forget about them and chalk it up to being young and stupid rather than revisit times in my life that made me feel out of control. 

I certainly know my limits now.  I have not a problem in the world swatting someone away when they're being too handsy or have different expectations of what is appropriate.  I'm  incredibly up front about what is okay and what is not.

It's hard to know what to say, but I've found that really, the best thing to say is, I'm so sorry you're going through this.  What can I do to support you?  And if they person doesn't know, nudging them to someone who can help them find out what they need to heal/forgive/move on/whatever they need (counselor, adult they trust).

[Note from the editor: This is one of the many anonymous anecdotes and survey responses collected for the dx/dt project that were not used in the film. They are being posted here as contributions to the discussion of sexual violence, relationship abuse, and stalking in the MIT community. Thank you to all of the authors of these posts for your willingness to speak out.]