By dbanach - Posted on 28 April 2017

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Here are some of the submissions we got for the "It Happened Here" Feature. Some of these have been changed to remove identifying features. We also had some courageous and touching stories shared at the Open Mic.

Each Voice that speaks out, makes other victims feel less alone, and less to blame. Each voice makes it easier for others to break the silence. Rape Culture can only exist when we look away and don't see it for what it is. Thanks to all these courageous voices for starting the process.

 

Submissions:
I was hanging out with a group of men on a weekend when an underclassman walked by in a short skirt and a crop top. The men made jokes about her outfit saying, "that girl is definitely getting raped tonight." I have never felt more uncomfortable.

 


 

It truly happens anywhere. The smallest things contribute to the fear that all women share. At the dances here is where a lot of men feel safe harrassing women. Women get catcalled and feel that they need to be careful with how they dance because if they aren't, a man might feel like he has the right to touch you


 

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A couple years ago. party off campus and had a really nice time. As I was saying goodbye to people with my boyfriend, another guy I knew, walked up, took me in his arms and kissed me. He was quite drunk and seemed to think this was a friendly way to say goodbye. I was stunned - embarrassed, worried what people would think, worried what my boyfiend might think, and, despite knowing better, wondering what I had done to invite that behavior. My boyfriend turned to me and said with a smile, "Boy is he going to regret that in the morning!" It broke the tension, and put the blame squarely where it belonged - on my the guy. I left the party feeling shaken and awkward, but not in any way guilty.
Sympathy for victims is absolutely necessary, but sometimes putting blame squarely where it belongs is the best approach. My boyfriends support enabled me to feel strong in the truth that I had not asked for or invited this problem.

 


 

 

 

When I was a freshman, I spent my first weekend at Saint A's in "uppers" with my friends. A senior guy began talking to us. He had a bottle of vodka in his hand. He started telling us we needed to take shots. When we tried to refuse, he called us "pussies" and told us we were in college now and we had to do this kind of stuff. After his tormenting, I ended up taking a few shots. At some point, my friends left and it was just him and I standing in the crowd. He then told me he left something back in his room, and he insisted I come back with him to get it. Not knowing where my friends were, I followed him through the crowd to a dorm building I did not know the name of. We went into his room and he shut the door. He convinced me to take more shots. He tried to kiss me. I told him I had a boyfriend. He told me "kissing isn't cheating." I told him no. He told me I wouldn't have came to his room if I didn't want this to happen. He got closer. He cornered me in his room and began kissing me and sliding his hands down my pants. My body froze for what seemed like forever before I shoved him and again told him no. He continued to try to persuade me to stay as I headed for the door. He told me I couldn't leave because I wouldn't be able to find my way back. I left anyways. Tears ran down my face as I stumbled back to JOA thinking about everything I thought I had done wrong.

 

Keep giving people an outlet to share their stories. Also, more education on what victim-blaming means. I still have a lot of guilt about what happened to me, and I resent having that guilt. I am fortunate enough that I was able to get out of this situation before things escalated any further. My heart is with all the women and men, on and off campus, who have not been so fortunate.

 


 

Some guys in a car called me a "bitch" in the parking lot.


 

 

When I reported my sexual assault the people at Student Affairs just kept asking me if I had been drinking, and were no help at all in making sure the guy who assaulted me had to stay away from me.

 

 


 

Catcalling, inappropriate commenting, and unwarranted touching. These three actions are among the most common, if not the most common, forms of sexual harassment/assault that happen at Saint Anselm College. However, we should not underestimate the damage that they can cause. I am twenty-one years old, and I have been sexually assaulted twice in my life. Both incidents occurred before I entered as a freshman at Saint Anselm College. Although I am not one of the one in five women who are sexually assaulted while in college, my previous experiences of sexual assault have weighed heavily on my mind during my time here. Throughout my time at Saint Anselm College, I have had to deal with much catcalling, inappropriate commenting, and unwarranted touching. All of these actions have intensified my post-traumatic symptoms from my sexual assaults and have made it difficult for me to heal and to move forward. It is difficult to find your worth again after being sexually assaulted. You feel confused, ashamed, weak, dirty, vulnerable, naked, exposed, and alone... or at least I did. Victims of sexual assault are more likely to develop anxiety and depression. They are also more likely to engage in self-harm behaviors and to abuse substances. I know this first hand. The process of healing from sexual assault is difficult. It is not made easier by an environment that allows catcalling, inappropriate commenting, and unwarranted touching to happen anywhere at any time. All of these actions are forms of sexual harassment and they are damaging. Personally, they have been damaging to me as a victim of sexual assault. However, any woman can and should feel violated by these actions. We need to work to create a culture of inclusiveness, respect, and love at Saint Anselm College and in our society. We need to become active bystanders for our fellow brothers and sisters. We need to hold accountable those who catcall, who make inappropriate comments, who touch without permission, who rape, and who abuse. We need to listen to those who have been affected by sexual harassment and sexual assault and then we need to defend, protect, and lift them up! We need to do this and we need to do it together. Together we can work to make the world better for our sons and daughters so they do not need to be afraid. Where should we start? I suggest by listening and learning. Listen to those who have been affected by these actions. Learn about how to be identify inappropriate behavior and how to be an active bystander.

 

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