Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic details of sexual assault and may be triggering to some readers.


Dear everyone,

You haven’t heard this before. This isn’t something I talk about. Chances are even if we’re friends, this is new information: at the end of my freshman year, just days before finals week began, I was sexually assaulted.

He didn’t punch me or choke me or scratch me, he wasn’t particularly strong or tall or intimidating, he wasn’t a stranger, but he sexually assaulted me.

I was on Fountain in one of the houses near Freeman. I had spent the night going to parties with three of my really good friends. One of my friends knew the guy, and he introduced me and we started dancing. After a while, we headed back to my freshman dorm. “No sex,” I kept saying to myself as we walked, “no sex”.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like making out with people or flirting or even doing a little bit more, but, as my three good friends I was with that night knew very clearly, I wasn’t comfortable with going all the way with just anyone. It’s not something I take lightly. In fact, I have only ever had sex with two guys in my life. These two guys are not the person who assaulted me. That was not sex. It was assault.

As soon as we got back to my room, I knew I wanted him to leave. He kept pushing me down and saying my name and then commands, like, “don’t use your teeth” and “keep going”. He kept going, and it hurt. It wasn’t pleasant or wonderful like it had been with the person I’d lost my virginity to, or with the guy I’d had feelings for and trusted. I was in my room, but I felt like I was under water. I was trying to tell him to leave and get out of me, but the words wouldn’t come out. The smell of latex penetrated my nose, sickening me to my stomach. I felt wounds opening as he thrust harder and harder. I kept waiting for the end, but it seemed to last forever, and still no words came out.

Then it was over. He left.

I called my best friend from home and started crying. She didn’t know what to do. She told me to go find people to comfort me. Everyone I knew was still out partying, so I went to the room across the hall from mine. One of my best friends lived there, and I thought maybe he would be home since he never went out because of his long distance girlfriend. He opened the door, and I stood there, sobbing. I couldn’t do anything but cry. He comforted me for a while and tried to calm me down, but I couldn’t go back into my room, so he slept on the floor and let me have his bed. I never slept in my dorm room again.

Over the next few days, I faced incredible bias, lack of understanding, and hardships. Most of the time, I lay curled up in a ball on the floor of the friend’s room I stayed in for the rest of the semester. She didn’t know what to do to help me. Another friend had to get clothes out of my room for me to wear each day because I couldn’t go into my room myself anymore. Each day was harder than the last.

I have lost a lot since then. During finals week, I lost focus on my studies and had to ask all of my teachers for extensions on my exams. My grades have slipped consistently since then. I lost around 20 pounds the next semester, because eating became hard for me. It still is. I changed my gym schedule, because seeing my attacker at the gym made the whole night come flooding back and would leave me feeling nauseous, scared, and crying. I still avoid the gym from 4-6. Last spring, when I finally told my mother about what had happened, she didn’t believe me. She told me it was my fault for getting to a point with a guy where he couldn’t walk away, that I should have controlled the situation better. My best friend from home that I had called right after the assault happened-she and I stopped speaking after she too told me I was somewhat to blame for what had happened. That other friend, the one who let me sleep in his room that night after the assault, he and I eventually stopped being friends as well. He never really believed me either.


Dear everyone, today I cried because I read an article in the Argus about a friend of mine who was assaulted this year, called “Is This Why? An Account of Sexual Assault at Wesleyan University”. I cried because I have always wanted to press charges for what happened to me but never did. I cried because my assaulter will never be expelled, because I was more pessimistic than my friend was. Unlike her, the belief I held that from the beginning my case was a lost cause was enough to convince me to never press charges.

Sometimes I’m still nauseous at the gym. Sometimes I still think that when I look at the toilet paper, I will see blood on it like I did the day after what happened to me. Sometimes I still mistake the pain I get in my legs from weight lifting for the pain I felt in my legs that morning. Sometimes I still sit in silence for a time and cry, alone.


Dear everyone, you are not alone. No one is. We have an opportunity to change the way that sexual assault is dealt with on college campuses. We have the opportunity to make sure no one else feels the way I have felt for over two years now. We can make sure that survivors of sexual assault understand that it is not their fault and that they deserve justice. Together, we can change the Wesleyan policies on sexual assault and Title IX so that no one else ever chooses not to press charges against their assaulter because they are afraid their case will be lost before it even begins.

Dear everyone, now you know my story.

Dear survivors, what’s yours?

  • Is This Why

    I am so incredibly proud of you for sharing your story. You are an extraordinary woman with incredible strength, whether or not you always know. Your story is so touching and one of the many reasons why Title IX reform is so important! Remember Alysha Warren is a wonderful resource if you ever want to talk. You can always go through the system and you will have more support than you could ever imagine. We love you.

  • let’s consider everything

    I am so sorry that you have experienced this. I am not saying that what happened is in any way your fault, however, you never said no. Perhaps the situation would have occurred differently if you had communicated that you wanted it to stop. While explicit consent is always the best course of action, I think we have to account for the possibility that the other party in this story may have never known that you were feeling the way you did. just some food for thought

    • The monumental task

      Or, you know, the situation could have been different if the male in the situation had taken 1.5 seconds to ask: “Are you okay with this?” That way the male could have “known that she was feeling the way you did”, and not have to guess.

      People treat getting affirmative consent like it’s performing the sacrament of communion while unwrapping a condom or an achieving telepathy. It’s a five second interaction, maximum. The worst case scenario of fumbling it is that you do not have sex that night. The horror. Those poor people who argue that they can’t be responsible for understanding another person’s thoughts because they can’t accomplish the monumental task of asking a five-word question.

      • Seriously, Think About It

        I am tempted to agree with you, and in theory perhaps we as a society and community need to more actively endorse a culture of affirmative consent. But–and the but is important– there is a fundamental difference between endorsing and promoting a culture of affirmative consent and trying to criminalize implied consent because we wish affirmative consent was the norm. To simultaneously criminalize the culture of implied consent which has historically been associated with hook-up culture (particularly on college campuses) while attempting to replace a culture of implied consent with affirmative consent has the potential of creating an injustice to those conditioned in a society that currently has, and for the most part still does, accept implied consent as a norm. The desire to create a more empathetic and sympathetic sexual culture is admirable, but the attempt to demonize or retrospectively criminalize the previous norm (in which agency was not stripped away, presumably) before the new norm is firmly established is a likely to create a distraction from what are otherwise noble objectives. Though what I am about to state seems to be the case in this scenario, I have no basis of knowing what truly occurred. That being said, in general I believe that the constant focus in activist circles on pressing charges on “attackers” who didn’t necessarily attack with physical coercion, but whom were involved in ambiguous situations of implied consent in which “yes” or “no” was never actually uttered, is counterproductive. It is counter-productive because we are attempting to combat rape culture by focusing on adjudication instead of prevention. It is counter-productive because it is better communication, not vilification that is needed. As JK Rowling wrote in the Goblet of Fire, “we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” Progress is achieved in unity and cooperation, in building community and bringing each other together for a common cause. It is not achieved through tearing people apart. Aside from the select few who consciously take rape, forcing sex upon their targets despite an unambiguous no (whether verbal, or physical), the best approach to addressing campus sexual assault is a culture of communication and education–not a culture of derision. I hope that campus activists attempting to build a safer Wesleyan begin to recognize that in order to create the world you envision you need to build bridges instead of erecting barriers. The best way to destroy an enemy is to turn them into a friend.

      • Is This Why

        While I would agree with this, the problem with allowing implied consent is that the majority of sexual assault cases are not witnessed and comes down to a he said she said case. Even if a victim says no and makes clear denials of consent, it is easy enough to say that the perpetrator had no way of knowing that it was not okay and then like in the WeSpeak from Friday, a perpetrator is found not guilty due to implied consent.

        I would agree that we as a campus should focus on prevention and education, but the sad truth is that sexual assault will likely happen anyway. This is why setting clear adjudication standards (that do not include implied consent) is so important. This is a multifacitated fight that must include the administration, faculty, staff, and students.

      • Is This What We Want?

        The problem with you suggesting that implied consent should not be part of clear adjudication standards. The problem with allowing affirmative consent as an adjudication standard is that if there was indeed implied consent (that is, the conduct was consensual, despite no verbal utterance) and the relationship between the two willing participants later on sours, or one of the participants upon reflection regrets what occurred–even if they didn’t say no, or imply no, then one can then easily find this individual “responsible” with little to no evidence. This is dangerous, because campus boards are parallel to the actual legal system and this can spur a rise in campus boards convicting young men (and, occasionally, young women) of sexual assault for genuinely ambiguous (and often innocuous) situations in which there was no physical coercion, or particularly egregious or criminal conduct. And that, ironically, will give rise to an usual scenario in which Title IX will inversely discriminate against males, who likely will be found responsible, potentially expelled, and live the rest of their life as a social outcast.

        But listen, I totally get what you are saying, and I particularly agree with the later part about this being a multifaceted fight, but its also a complicated fight. We don’t want serial predators on our campuses, but we don’t want to find people responsible for things that aren’t actually sexual assault. In the case described in this Wespeak, I’m not convinced the individual should be responsible, stigmatized, and expelled. In the Initial Wespeak, if what is being described is true, then that’s a different story. But it doesn’t seem like the alleged perpetrator was found not responsible because of whether or not there was an affirmative consent standard, unless that individual argued more persuasively to the board that he had implied consent. Maybe that wasn’t clear or I need to re-read. But I also got the impression from the WeSpeak that this individual was found not responsible more likely due to special interests at play then whether an affirmative consent standard vs implied consent standard was in place….granted I don’t know what really happened, but I do know Wes’s policy is super close to affirmative consent in the actual semantics of its language and definitions.

      • Vel

        “Implied consent” must be voluntary and not obtained by force, coercion or threats. This doesn’t meet that definition. Bear in mind that even being married no longer provides implied consent to sex. You still have to ask!

      • Bob

        Lol! Gentlemen, never talk too, date or, God forbid, hook-up with a feminist because they really are this bat-shit crazy! Trust me guys, women get better after college because they’re not constantly surrounded by delusional, hyper-ventilating, nut job girlfriends.

      • Bob

        The affirmative consent movement is an attempt to wrongfully shift the burden of proof from the accuser/state/college to the accused.

    • Vel

      Also, she never said “Yes!”

    • Mel

      She was also bleeding the next morning…that’s not any kind of sex I’d want be having. It sounds like the guy was way too rough and completely out of touch with the fact that what he was pleasuring himself with was actually a living, breathing human being. That’s the biggest issue with these sexual assaults and it’s why active consent is so important. People who sexually assault others don’t see the people they injure as people – they’re objectified and used as such.

  • Something to think about…
  • DavidL

    Your mother may be wiser than you think. You might want to reopen a dialog with her.

  • JG

    Ever heard the expression “work yourself into a frenzy.” The mind is a powerful thing. You take a bad experience, (something that virtually all adult women AND men have gone through. . . unpleasant sex) start to call it “sexual assault,” to regard yourself as a “survivor,” to engage in melodramatic confessionals, which are then greeted and reinforced (in our hysterical age) by folks telling you “yes, you were traumatized” “yes, you victimized” etc. etc etc.

    Pretty soon, a “trauma” exists where none needed to. Power of suggestion.

    Yes, we live in a “rape” culture–one created by feminists. Its sick, its pathological, and its impact on impressionable young minds is evident here.

    • Anonymous

      By saying this you are invalidating a serious problem on our campus and across the country. Regret plays no role in these encounters. It is assault. Would you say the same thing about someone who was physically assaulted? No. Because on some level victim blaming for sexual assault is a cultural norm. Shame on you.

      • JG

        “It is an assault.” No, its not. What she described is not an “assault.” That’s kinda the whole point.

      • Anonymous

        So someone has to say no if they are being robbed or mugged? That makes no sense. This is why affirmative consent is so important. The fact is that even according to the university policy now, silence is not consent. This is assault and if you are confused read the article again.

      • JG

        nobody’s thinking could be this warped. you’re trolling me. later.

  • Vel

    Well, we always wanted to be a UVA of he north. We arrived….

    • Shame On You

      I can’t tell if you are intentionally intellectually dishonest or your mind is just so warped by militant feminist ideology, but what is described here isn’t even relatively close to the horrific story described in the UVA article. In fact, it is an insult to the survivor of that heinous crime to even try and make this a reasonable comparison. Shame on you.

    • LOLOL

      the UVA example worked out well for you! haha

  • FemPhi

    Fuck every shitty thing people have said in these comments. You’re so brave, courageous, and strong for sharing your story. You have mine, as well as MANY other people’s support on this campus. We’ve got your back.

  • Alum

    As an alum (with a teenaged daughter), I am appalled upon reading about these two sexual assaults! The male students whom I knew at Wes were not like this–and my friends included people from lots of the different groups of Wes students. For those who voice such rude disbelief about the stories of the victims: even if they are exaggerating somewhat (and I strongly doubt that they are), how would you feel if your sister went through a similar incident? Where is the compassion that I recall from my era (30+ years ago) at Wes? And why hasn’t the administration handled such incidents more proactively?

  • DKE Bro

    “The act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty”