February 18, 2014

Taking Sides

It happened the summer after my freshman year. I was in an ILG. He was many years older than me, and started touching me in ways I wasn't too keen on. I wasn't sure how to say no or what to do, so I pretended to fall asleep. He kept going. It was horrible. I had to face this person on a weekly basis for weeks. Nobody else knows. It hurts to hear people talk about how much they like him and how nice of a guy he is, but I guess they have no way of knowing since I never told anyone else in the house. He's gone now, and I don't regret not saying anything. People would have been forced to take sides, and I'm afraid they would have taken his.

There was another incident with a different person a few years later that hasn't been nearly as emotionally stressful. It was less violating and I was more prepared to deal with it this time. I told alumni of my ILG (he was a member in another chapter), and it was taken care of privately as per my wishes. I would not have wanted to live through the nightmare of a court case, especially as an MIT student.

I did not tell my family. I have only told my boyfriend. The first time I told him, he didn't really listen I guess. I mentioned it a second time and described it in more detail. He was pretty shocked. It has made me more of a feminist, and makes me more angry/emotional when I see bullshit like the victim blaming and perpetrator excusing that happened in the Steubenville rape case.

[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 each of the authors of these posts for your willingness to speak out.]