I felt like my body was not my own

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Photo Credit: Helen Brown | Daily Texan Staff

Trigger Warning: Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault, Rape

Editor's note: This column was submitted to the Texan by a member of the UT community.

He was my friend. I trusted him. He raped me.

For so long I told no one because I was so scared of receiving backlash from his fraternity, our mutual friends and even my boyfriend. Sexual assault causes so many feelings of disempowerment and feeling like your body is no longer your own. How could I continue feeling safe when the one thing that was truly mine, the one thing I should have full control over — my own body — was taken away from me? This battle of feeling safe in my own identity and the many, many months of coping were exhausting, lonely and heartbreaking, but ultimately it fueled a deeper fire within me. I know now with confidence that my mess is my message. I will fight for all survivors, like myself, each day. My purpose on and off campus — and for my future — lies in protecting and defending others who experience the same trauma I have, and helping the one in five women on campus who will experience sexual assault to feel heard, supported and not alone.

List of Resources: http://bit.ly/resourcesforsurvivors

Editor’s note: UT-Austin mandatory reporters do not have to report the stories published here.