To the Wesleyan Community:

Last week I celebrated my birthday. It marked one year since I was sexually assaulted by my roommate. Until now, I have only shared my experience with a few of my closest friends; I haven’t told my parents nor any members of my family. For the past year, I have remained silent. While I am certainly entitled to my privacy, I now feel that I have a responsibility as a survivor to speak up and contribute to the ongoing conversation around sexual assault on our campus. This is my story.

It was about 1:30 in the morning. I was studying for a calculus exam with a few friends in the lounge of my dorm when I received a text message from my roommate asking where I was. Once I told him, he replied, “Why when I could be giving you a bj for your bday? I think I’m drunk :(.”

Though we didn’t have a very close relationship, I innocently took his texts to be a joke and tried to laugh it off, replying “thanks for the offer man.” At this point I expected—and hoped—that his text messages would stop. They didn’t. He would send several more: “let’s do it :p, shh secret,” “I’ve been told that I’m good,” “sorry I’m kinda wasted.”

I didn’t respond this time and said a silent prayer that when I finished studying and went to our room, he’d be asleep.

He wasn’t. Despite the fact that we normally didn’t talk to one another, he immediately asked me how my birthday was when I entered the room. I told him it was mostly spent in the library, studying for finals. He said that he felt sorry for me and jumped off his bed, offering me a hug. I asked him to stop after he started kissing my neck and he obliged.

Once I finished brushing my teeth, it was well after three in the morning. As I set my alarm for the next morning, he walked over to my bed and said that the offer still stood, insisting that he was really good at giving blow jobs and that it would be over quickly. Again, trying to be nice, I told him that I was flattered; that I had a girlfriend; that I wasn’t into guys. He wouldn’t stop. He said that he could change my mind about how I felt towards men. Even after I told him that she was in the hospital, he encouraged me to cheat on my girlfriend—she’ll never find out, he said. I continued to say no.

He finally relented, asking if he could just “touch it.” I naively agreed, believing that he would simply graze the crotch of my pants and that I would be able to go to sleep. Instead, he forced his hand inside of my underwear and said that he might as well give me a blow job now. On the verge of tears, I vehemently refused and pushed him away. He seemed to understand and went back to his bed. I believed that he had finally stopped.

Soon after I crawled into bed, he asked me if I minded if he “jacked off”. Again, holding back tears, I told him that I was trying to sleep and that I didn’t care. He then asked me if I wanted to join. This time, I pretended to be asleep and buried my face in pillows.

As I reported my assault in the following weeks, I was forced to relive that night four times as I recounted my experience to different members of the administration. Three days after my assault, I went to my residential adviser, hoping for a room change and possibly, disciplinary action. After some initial disbelief and repeated questions about whether I had given consent, she seemed to understand the severity of the case and promised me that action would be taken.

A week later, I met with the area coordinator who represented my dorm. Just as I had with my RA, I described my assault with ‘as much detail as possible’, pausing several times to cry. The room change occurred almost immediately, though I would have to wait until next semester to move in. Meanwhile, my ordeal was far from over.

I returned to campus early in January to speak with the Dean of Students, who offered me complete support. It had been over a month since the attack and I thought that my healing process was nearing its end. Then, I was asked to again describe my assault. More tears followed as the wounds seared open. Only after our meeting did I finally receive the chance to make a written statement about that night and no longer had to verbally recollect it.

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, roughly 10% of all sexual assault victims are male. Most are prevented from sharing their stories by the belief that they were not ‘strong enough’ to fight off their attacker and that their assault made them less of a ‘man’. For months, I blamed myself for what occurred that night, thinking that I could’ve done something to stop it. Even worse, I felt that my roommate had simply made a grave error in judgment and, in the end, I did not pursue disciplinary action against him.

After several conversations with close friends in the past month and hearing several other accounts of sexual assault, I refuse to stay silent as our university insists upon ignoring survivors. Although my experience with the administration was perhaps not as frustrating, distressing, or negligent as that of others, which is possibly due to my status as a white male, I am standing up and speaking out. We will no longer live in silence.

Thank you for your time.

  • LM ’16

    I am so impressed by your strength and courage. Continue speaking out in whatever ways you feel comfortable. I am sorry this happened to you. Know that you have the support of the student body. You’re in my thoughts.

    • JG

      Strength and courage? I’m not sure where you got that. First of all, my skepticism has nothing to do with the fact that the speaker happens to be white, male, or “privileged” or any other double standard that might apply to sexual assault claims by men vs. women.

      The guy explicitly allowed an albeit persistent and boorish roommate to embrace him and stroke his crotch. Was that strength and courage? He explicitly gave his roommate permission to masturbate in front of him. Was that strength and courage? I mean there’s nothing inherently wrong with what he did, but to say that he exhibited strength in courage in resisting what he evidently did not want is just absurd.

      Also, when it was over, he did what any normal, minimally functional human being would do and demanded a room reassignment. Again, I don’t fault him for that, but does it constitute “strength and courage”? Have we really watered down those terms to the point where they mean so little?

      Frankly, this whole story smacks of trolling and I wouldn’t be surprised if the author is having a good laugh at this conversation.

      • Mark Otdelnov

        So true

  • alt

    if you ever want support from another male survivor please please let me know. (awang02@wes)

  • DKE Bro

    Next time, do more than stand up and speak out. Fight back. Physically.

    • JG

      would you say that to a woman?

      • DKE Bro

        I would tell my daughter to do everything to stop the assault, up to and including using a deadly weapon. Most of the time, a man is strong enough to fight off another man without resorting to deadly tactics.

      • nooneuno

        I have indeed taught my daughter to do just that when dealing with unwanted advances from an acquaintance. She should be sure to leave cuts, bruises, scratches, tooth marks or anything else possible, and then call the police. There are risks to such conduct, but in a situation like this there is more clarity to the claims when you don’t have to play “he said/she said.” It is hard to claim it is just buyers remorse when you have a black eye.

      • wes16

        how dare you compare rape to “buyers remorse” are you fucking kidding me?

  • Wes ’13

    Technically, you gave consent…

    • He did not give consent. This was submission, not consent. When a person relents in the face of unwanted pressure that does not mean they are freely choosing to engage in an activity they want. A person who submits to sexual abuse is not a willing party to the abuse, nor does it excuse the actions of the perpetrator at all.

      • Wes ’13

        Did you happen to be present during this “assault”? Or, are you like the masses who are perpetuating the “always believe the victim” culture, and therefore denying the very essence of “due process” and “innocent until proven guilty”?

        It’s already difficult to prove consent in a typical “he said-she said” case where there was no consent. It would be even more difficult to prove this was a case of no consent when he explicitly consented to it.

        The questions we should be asking instead are (1) whether a reasonable person would believe this was a case of physical force, duress, or deception and (2) whether a reasonable person in the roommate’s position would believe there was consent.

        I am not saying the “perpetrator” was right or wrong. I am not saying whether the victim was sexually assaulted or not. I just believe in our justice system. I don’t believe in automatically siding with the “victim”, or automatically siding with the “perpetrator.” Our system is flawed, but in its absence, what can we actually call “justice”?

      • JG

        Lol. It is actually difficult to conceive of a case that more clearly illustrates “affirmative consent” than the so-called ‘sexual assault’ story we have here.

        The would-be assailant EXPLICITLY asked for consent not once, not twice, but three times. .. once to embrace his roommate (his roommate explicitly said yes!), once to to touch his roommates d*ck (his roommate said yes!), and once even to masturbate in front of his roommate, which doesn’t involve physical contact (and his ROOMATE SAID YES).

        Now you want to claim, even on these facts, that this was a sexual assault. What you’re really demonstrating is that, under the new regime, ANY form of sexual exchange that is unpleasant for one of the parties, even if that party gives explicit, direct and repeated consent, may be later reframed as sexual assault.

        If it was the author’s intent to elicit this response and, thus, show the insanity of the “rape culture” obsessed mindset, I say “Bravo, Sir”

      • Deep Six

        I’m glad someone had the courage to speak up about this. I, too, suspect this WeSpeak was intended either to bring attention to the current “rape culture” mindset… or to troll. Or maybe both.

  • Thank you for sharing your story and speaking up. You are not alone. According to the latest statistics from the CDC, 1 in 4 males will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.

    There are resources for male survivors and their loved ones at

  • Adam

    Dude, you were not attacked and your are not a survivor. A dude tried to give you a bj after you showed him your cock. You were uncomfortable because you weren’t into it. Chalk it up to an unfortunate event in college and move on. Next time a dude tries to give you head, kick his ass and get out of the situation.

    • JG

      amen to that. now if people would have the courage to be as blunt with female so-called “survivors” of so-called acquaintance “rape” (read: consensual sex mixed with regret) we might get somewhere. (Will never happen)

  • Lkat

    You werent assaulted asshole, you had a drunk roommate. I hope this story is a joke because for you to compare yourself to actual rape victims is vile. If so, Bravo – I loved the “fighting back tears” part, nice touch. If not, then please grow a pair and get over yourself.
    By the way – who says “Yes you can touch my cock” to someone they want to avoid? Seriously, bro – you are either a genius or a moron.