“For the past few months, I have been called a ‘slut’, an ‘attention whore’, and ‘liar’, by both people I know very well, and people I don’t. I shared my story about rape, and I’ve been shamed for it. But what they don’t realize is that I haven’t had a stable relationship since. I have panic attacks every time I get intimate with someone. I wake up in tears almost every night because of nightmares bringing me back to laying on the floor of my bathroom in a pool of my own vomit. I can’t go to the gynecologist without the fear of remembering what he did to me. I have suffered a lot since being raped, and I still remember it far too well. But then I remember my strength. I know that I shouldn’t have to defend my words. I shouldn’t have to feel ashamed or be shamed for my telling my story. If sharing my pain will help alleviate someone else’s pain, then I will keep on talking, keep on sharing, and keep on hoping for a tomorrow where sexual assault is a thing of the past. I know now that I am not alone, and neither are you.”

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These stories were submitted anonymously.

Photo Courtesy: Taya Arnone

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