Humans for Consent   cw for graphic description of sexual violence and suicidal thoughts   "The incident. That’s how my family and I refer to it. I don’t talk about it often anymore, mostly⁣ because after it happened, I was forced to push it down, fold it up and tuck it away neatly in⁣ order to still function as a human being. That night comes back to me often. How he asked to⁣ come in, and my roommate faked being asleep. How he sat on the edge of my bed and slowly⁣ crept up till his head lay on my pillow. He kissed me. I kissed back. Then, nothing. I was in a⁣ drunken slumber. My roommate watched him continue to kiss and touch me. She said that she⁣ thought I wanted it. When I woke up, his hand was in my pajama pants, his fingers like⁣ sandpaper, He lingered then retracted. The door closed. Two weeks after I filed the report, my⁣ roommate moved out with three weeks of the semester left. I got used to solitary comings and⁣ goings of my suicidal thoughts. He was friends with the guys on my floor that I used to spend all⁣ my time with. He was always around, always hovering in the hallway or bathroom. I didn’t tell⁣ anyone, but we had fucked before that night. Just once. We were sober, I was already asked,⁣ again and again, if I was sure the incident really happened, because I was sleeping, how could I⁣ tell? They said my roommate was lying about what she saw. They said that he wasn’t the type⁣ of guy to do it. I knew if I mentioned that we had sex before, it would make it worse for me.⁣ Worse than doors being slammed in my face, than losing all my friends and my support system,⁣ than feeling more alone and victimized than I have ever been in my time away from home. The⁣ college did nothing to help me. No counseling, no way to stop what was happening. I was⁣ tormented and tortured and ostracized, and to cope, I shut down. I stopped feeling it, didn’t deal⁣ with it."⁣  "I realize now, months later, that this is how I survived. I stopped crying myself to sleep. I held my⁣ chin up in the face of his teammates. I compartmentalized. If I didn’t, I wouldn't have been able to⁣ live seeing him on my floor, around the school. I barely made it out as it is.”  "I remember the slow planning. I chose a weeknight. I knew no one would check on me. I made⁣ sure my ESA (emotional support animal) had lots of food and hay to get her through till they⁣ found me. I wrote the letter. I named names. I cried when I dumped the pills on the counter. I⁣ counted them three times. I had stocked them up for years, just in case I ever felt like I needed⁣ to leave. As I was crying and preparing, my rabbit, who had been my only support for the past⁣ several weeks, started hitting her back paws on the floor. Thumping. Rabbits thump for⁣ attention or food. But at that moment, I was absolutely positive that she knew what was going to⁣ happen."⁣  "I called the Suicide Hotline that night. I forget the name of the man who I talked to. His words⁣ drew me back from the edge, and I told him everything. What my friend did to me, what my⁣ roommate had done. How I had written the letter. How my bunny sat on my lap and her fur⁣ soaked up my tears. If he ever reads this, I hope he knows just how much his voice soothed me⁣ and comforted me when I felt like I was alone in the world."⁣  "I consider that night a suicide attempt. I flushed all the pills I had. I decided to stay, but in⁣ reality, it was a refusal to leave. Like a fern, regarding after the destruction of my body and my⁣ life and flourishing amongst the trauma. Life after death, shedding my skin like a snake and⁣ growing into something stronger, more beautiful." - Frankie Anne.

Humans for Consent

cw for graphic description of sexual violence and suicidal thoughts

"The incident. That’s how my family and I refer to it. I don’t talk about it often anymore, mostly⁣ because after it happened, I was forced to push it down, fold it up and tuck it away neatly in⁣ order to still function as a human being. That night comes back to me often. How he asked to⁣ come in, and my roommate faked being asleep. How he sat on the edge of my bed and slowly⁣ crept up till his head lay on my pillow. He kissed me. I kissed back. Then, nothing. I was in a⁣ drunken slumber. My roommate watched him continue to kiss and touch me. She said that she⁣ thought I wanted it. When I woke up, his hand was in my pajama pants, his fingers like⁣ sandpaper, He lingered then retracted. The door closed. Two weeks after I filed the report, my⁣ roommate moved out with three weeks of the semester left. I got used to solitary comings and⁣ goings of my suicidal thoughts. He was friends with the guys on my floor that I used to spend all⁣ my time with. He was always around, always hovering in the hallway or bathroom. I didn’t tell⁣ anyone, but we had fucked before that night. Just once. We were sober, I was already asked,⁣ again and again, if I was sure the incident really happened, because I was sleeping, how could I⁣ tell? They said my roommate was lying about what she saw. They said that he wasn’t the type⁣ of guy to do it. I knew if I mentioned that we had sex before, it would make it worse for me.⁣ Worse than doors being slammed in my face, than losing all my friends and my support system,⁣ than feeling more alone and victimized than I have ever been in my time away from home. The⁣ college did nothing to help me. No counseling, no way to stop what was happening. I was⁣ tormented and tortured and ostracized, and to cope, I shut down. I stopped feeling it, didn’t deal⁣ with it."⁣

"I realize now, months later, that this is how I survived. I stopped crying myself to sleep. I held my⁣
chin up in the face of his teammates. I compartmentalized. If I didn’t, I wouldn't have been able to⁣ live seeing him on my floor, around the school. I barely made it out as it is.”

"I remember the slow planning. I chose a weeknight. I knew no one would check on me. I made⁣ sure my ESA (emotional support animal) had lots of food and hay to get her through till they⁣ found me. I wrote the letter. I named names. I cried when I dumped the pills on the counter. I⁣ counted them three times. I had stocked them up for years, just in case I ever felt like I needed⁣ to leave. As I was crying and preparing, my rabbit, who had been my only support for the past⁣ several weeks, started hitting her back paws on the floor. Thumping. Rabbits thump for⁣ attention or food. But at that moment, I was absolutely positive that she knew what was going to⁣ happen."⁣

"I called the Suicide Hotline that night. I forget the name of the man who I talked to. His words⁣ drew me back from the edge, and I told him everything. What my friend did to me, what my⁣ roommate had done. How I had written the letter. How my bunny sat on my lap and her fur⁣ soaked up my tears. If he ever reads this, I hope he knows just how much his voice soothed me⁣ and comforted me when I felt like I was alone in the world."⁣

"I consider that night a suicide attempt. I flushed all the pills I had. I decided to stay, but in⁣ reality, it was a refusal to leave. Like a fern, regarding after the destruction of my body and my⁣ life and flourishing amongst the trauma. Life after death, shedding my skin like a snake and⁣ growing into something stronger, more beautiful." - Frankie Anne.

Humans for Consent   cw for description of a sexual assault   “Rape culture has impacted my life in every way. There is not one portion of my life that is the same after experiencing such a terrible event. I was unable to eat, sleep, communicate/ trust others, and moved through each day as empty as the day this event happened. However, once I began to speak out about what happened to me I found the support I needed slowly deal with this traumatic event and build myself back up. I have been working on this for 5 years and still don’t know if I will ever be the same girl, but I will become stronger. I will use this experience to help others and I will always be an advocate for others in a similar situation. I will also never let him win by taking my life from me again. He will always be attached to me now but I will always prove that my life is worth more than he ever thought it could be.”     “My story starts the summer before I went off to college. I worked for a company in my home town. The company was on a very large piece of property. In order to speed up closing at the end of the day, we would often help one another so that we could get out of there quicker. An older co-worker who worked out at the far end of the complex had begun asking for help but also made a few unwanted comments about wanting my help with something unrelated to work. I informed him that I would come over to help him close as soon as I finished my office work but would ignore all his other comments. Upon arrival over by him, he had finished all but one part of closing. The last portion was on the furthest portion of the grounds. At that point, he had made some sexual advances and after multiple failed attempts to get him off, he raped me. I then went home in shock and kept all the pain in because who would believe me. I told no one for over a year and thought about ending my life every day to end the built-up pain he caused me. I chose to keep living every day in the hope that he would suffer more by knowing I made it through. Now my only hope is that by me sharing my story it will touch someone else and help them with their own story.”     “I want the stigma of a person who was raped to change. Society puts the blame out on the victims and that isn’t okay. So many individuals are afraid to come forward because more times than not someone says they brought it on themselves or they are not believed. I want to know that everyone who has gone through an experience like this does not have to walk alone or walk through there life in shame. They did not “ask for it” or “deserve it” and everyone needs to stop thinking in this way. If that can change I think the rest of the stigmas surrounding rape or sexual assault will follow.” - C.R.

Humans for Consent

cw for description of a sexual assault

“Rape culture has impacted my life in every way. There is not one portion of my life that is the same after experiencing such a terrible event. I was unable to eat, sleep, communicate/ trust others, and moved through each day as empty as the day this event happened. However, once I began to speak out about what happened to me I found the support I needed slowly deal with this traumatic event and build myself back up. I have been working on this for 5 years and still don’t know if I will ever be the same girl, but I will become stronger. I will use this experience to help others and I will always be an advocate for others in a similar situation. I will also never let him win by taking my life from me again. He will always be attached to me now but I will always prove that my life is worth more than he ever thought it could be.”


“My story starts the summer before I went off to college. I worked for a company in my home town. The company was on a very large piece of property. In order to speed up closing at the end of the day, we would often help one another so that we could get out of there quicker. An older co-worker who worked out at the far end of the complex had begun asking for help but also made a few unwanted comments about wanting my help with something unrelated to work. I informed him that I would come over to help him close as soon as I finished my office work but would ignore all his other comments. Upon arrival over by him, he had finished all but one part of closing. The last portion was on the furthest portion of the grounds. At that point, he had made some sexual advances and after multiple failed attempts to get him off, he raped me. I then went home in shock and kept all the pain in because who would believe me. I told no one for over a year and thought about ending my life every day to end the built-up pain he caused me. I chose to keep living every day in the hope that he would suffer more by knowing I made it through. Now my only hope is that by me sharing my story it will touch someone else and help them with their own story.”


“I want the stigma of a person who was raped to change. Society puts the blame out on the victims and that isn’t okay. So many individuals are afraid to come forward because more times than not someone says they brought it on themselves or they are not believed. I want to know that everyone who has gone through an experience like this does not have to walk alone or walk through there life in shame. They did not “ask for it” or “deserve it” and everyone needs to stop thinking in this way. If that can change I think the rest of the stigmas surrounding rape or sexual assault will follow.” - C.R.

Humans for Consent   cw: description of a sexual assault    “Every summer during high school me and my friends went to the Made in America festival. It was always the last weekend of summer before school started. Made, or MIA as we called it was usually one of the highlights of summer; there was always such a good line up and it was the first time you would be seeing a lot of your friends and classmates after a whole summer. I never thought anything bad could happen. I always remember my parents telling me to be careful before I left and I would shrug it off. I was naive, I truly believed nothing bad would ever happen to me.”  “The last year I attended Made was 2014, I was 16. I went in feeling great. I had a super cute outfit on, a white crop top and high waisted white shorts that had pineapples on them. After being there for a few hours I ran into one of my ex boyfriend’s best friends. (he also happened to be friends with my older brother and played on a basketball team my dad coached) Me and my ex boyfriend had just broken up, so when his friend asked me where he was I told him that. He looked at me, staring in my eyes, his blue eyes piercing into mine. He said, “oh really? well if you guys aren’t together anymore I would do this.” He then leaned in and kissed me. I had always had a little crush on him so I did not protest. He then proceeded to make me drink his alcohol. I had already had more than enough at that point, but he kept forcing me to drink it. After kissing for awhile he then tried to pull me out of the crowd away from my friends. All my friends knew him so they did not try and stop it. It was still light outside. From this point on the night is very in and out. I remember walking, being dragged by him around the concert. He tried to buy more alcohol for us. More walking. The next thing I know it’s dark out and he is on top of me. My neck is being bent against a port-a-potty and my feet are crammed against a pick up truck, my shorts shoved to the side and there are police pulling him off of me.“  “They thought it was statutory rape, since he had a fake ID that said he was 22. They called my parents to come pick me up. In this moment I was still too drunk to process what had happened. They said his dick was out and he was on top of me and I denied it. I sat in a tent being questioned while he sat across from me; he kept winking at me and smirking. Finally my parents got there. I remember I had to leave but he was allowed back in the concert. Why did I have to leave when he raped me, but he was allowed back in? Even though the police saw him raping me, they let him stay. When I tried to report it later they told me there was too much grey area. The police were there, they saw it, yet still too much grey area. It made me feel like what happened to me was not valid.”  “It has been 4 1/2 years. I am still processing and still working every day to get over this situation. You never realize how many things can come from a sexual assault; there are so many side effects that aren’t talked about. It took me a long time to realize it was not my fault - me drinking or wearing short shorts and a crop top did not make it my fault. It was hard to feel worthy after I felt violated and dirty but what I had to realize is, what other people did to me did not define me or my self-worth. Healing is a bumpy process, it takes time. Although sometimes it feels like it will never get better, I realize how much I have grown and changed. I am still here, I am living. I refuse to let some boy with piercing blue eyes and a smirk ruin my life.” - Ciaran Q.

Humans for Consent

cw: description of a sexual assault

“Every summer during high school me and my friends went to the Made in America festival. It was always the last weekend of summer before school started. Made, or MIA as we called it was usually one of the highlights of summer; there was always such a good line up and it was the first time you would be seeing a lot of your friends and classmates after a whole summer. I never thought anything bad could happen. I always remember my parents telling me to be careful before I left and I would shrug it off. I was naive, I truly believed nothing bad would ever happen to me.”

“The last year I attended Made was 2014, I was 16. I went in feeling great. I had a super cute outfit on, a white crop top and high waisted white shorts that had pineapples on them. After being there for a few hours I ran into one of my ex boyfriend’s best friends. (he also happened to be friends with my older brother and played on a basketball team my dad coached) Me and my ex boyfriend had just broken up, so when his friend asked me where he was I told him that. He looked at me, staring in my eyes, his blue eyes piercing into mine. He said, “oh really? well if you guys aren’t together anymore I would do this.” He then leaned in and kissed me. I had always had a little crush on him so I did not protest. He then proceeded to make me drink his alcohol. I had already had more than enough at that point, but he kept forcing me to drink it. After kissing for awhile he then tried to pull me out of the crowd away from my friends. All my friends knew him so they did not try and stop it. It was still light outside. From this point on the night is very in and out. I remember walking, being dragged by him around the concert. He tried to buy more alcohol for us. More walking. The next thing I know it’s dark out and he is on top of me. My neck is being bent against a port-a-potty and my feet are crammed against a pick up truck, my shorts shoved to the side and there are police pulling him off of me.“

“They thought it was statutory rape, since he had a fake ID that said he was 22. They called my parents to come pick me up. In this moment I was still too drunk to process what had happened. They said his dick was out and he was on top of me and I denied it. I sat in a tent being questioned while he sat across from me; he kept winking at me and smirking. Finally my parents got there. I remember I had to leave but he was allowed back in the concert. Why did I have to leave when he raped me, but he was allowed back in? Even though the police saw him raping me, they let him stay. When I tried to report it later they told me there was too much grey area. The police were there, they saw it, yet still too much grey area. It made me feel like what happened to me was not valid.”

“It has been 4 1/2 years. I am still processing and still working every day to get over this situation. You never realize how many things can come from a sexual assault; there are so many side effects that aren’t talked about. It took me a long time to realize it was not my fault - me drinking or wearing short shorts and a crop top did not make it my fault. It was hard to feel worthy after I felt violated and dirty but what I had to realize is, what other people did to me did not define me or my self-worth. Healing is a bumpy process, it takes time. Although sometimes it feels like it will never get better, I realize how much I have grown and changed. I am still here, I am living. I refuse to let some boy with piercing blue eyes and a smirk ruin my life.” - Ciaran Q.

Humans for Consent  ”When many people think about rape culture, people tend to think about forced intercourse or other direct sexual acts, myself included. I didn't know that receiving dick pics from random men online was a form of sexual harassment. I didn't know that what I thought was a dumb story about an Uber driver finding me on Facebook after turning a 10 minute trip into a 20 minute trip to talk to me, would cause my friends to gasp in horror and tell me to report him. I didn't know that having purple hair would warrant random people to shout at me from their cars. I didn't know having purple hair would would cause some kid at a frat party to touch my hair, trace his hands down my back, to my butt, and lean in for kiss when my body language was stiff and leaning away from him. I didn't know these actions would cause him to follow me around the party and then try to grab me as I was leaving and say "Let me get your number", which is a demand, not a request. It took me way too long to realize that none of this was acceptable, that this wasn't normal behavior. I want to see more recognition for the unwarranted touches, pictures, videos, cat calls, and anything else no asked for from another person thinking they deserve a reward for being "bold", when they're really just being, for lack of a better word, creepy.” - Emma Wine

Humans for Consent

”When many people think about rape culture, people tend to think about forced intercourse or other direct sexual acts, myself included. I didn't know that receiving dick pics from random men online was a form of sexual harassment. I didn't know that what I thought was a dumb story about an Uber driver finding me on Facebook after turning a 10 minute trip into a 20 minute trip to talk to me, would cause my friends to gasp in horror and tell me to report him. I didn't know that having purple hair would warrant random people to shout at me from their cars. I didn't know having purple hair would would cause some kid at a frat party to touch my hair, trace his hands down my back, to my butt, and lean in for kiss when my body language was stiff and leaning away from him. I didn't know these actions would cause him to follow me around the party and then try to grab me as I was leaving and say "Let me get your number", which is a demand, not a request. It took me way too long to realize that none of this was acceptable, that this wasn't normal behavior. I want to see more recognition for the unwarranted touches, pictures, videos, cat calls, and anything else no asked for from another person thinking they deserve a reward for being "bold", when they're really just being, for lack of a better word, creepy.”
- Emma Wine

Humans for Consent  "It’s a whole new problem when it happens with family. It was more⁣ traumatic for me, I think because he was someone I really trusted and I didn’t think that would⁣ ever happen. After, I tried to deny that it ever happened. I wouldn’t have to⁣ confront my family members or confront...other people. I didn’t want to go⁣ through all of that. I had built up in my mind that the whole family would choose his side.⁣ He was the last person you would think would do this kind of thing. He was very fun and⁣ would make you laugh all the time. You never expected that, but then it happens and you’re like, oh my god this⁣ is not the person everyone sees them as."⁣ ⁣ "Rape culture didn’t affect me until something happened and I realized how⁣ prominent it is. It is still very much there. I think rape culture makes me feel⁣ like I have to stay quiet about all these things that happened to me. That’s part of the⁣ reason why it is hard to speak up...having to deal with the backlash." - A.O.

Humans for Consent

"It’s a whole new problem when it happens with family. It was more⁣ traumatic for me, I think because he was someone I really trusted and I didn’t think that would⁣ ever happen. After, I tried to deny that it ever happened. I wouldn’t have to⁣ confront my family members or confront...other people. I didn’t want to go⁣ through all of that. I had built up in my mind that the whole family would choose his side.⁣ He was the last person you would think would do this kind of thing. He was very fun and⁣ would make you laugh all the time. You never expected that, but then it happens and you’re like, oh my god this⁣ is not the person everyone sees them as."⁣

"Rape culture didn’t affect me until something happened and I realized how⁣ prominent it is. It is still very much there. I think rape culture makes me feel⁣ like I have to stay quiet about all these things that happened to me. That’s part of the⁣ reason why it is hard to speak up...having to deal with the backlash." - A.O.

Humans for Consent  “I would like to see higher accountability. Too often do I hear accounts of individuals that felt they did not give consent to another person, and despite their efforts, those responsible get to walk away, hands clean. Accountability is vital to ensuring that we can all feel safe, even when we are at our most vulnerable.”  “When I hear about more men coming forward with their own stories of assault, it's a sobering truth to know that this is not a one-sided issue. Knowing that this kind of thing happens to all genders is a reminder that we all need to practice consent and that nobody is unaffected.”  “In my industry, consent is very important. Especially with the  #MeToo movement that started back in 2017, consent has become of utmost necessity when in a work environment. Being that the entertainment industry is so collaborative between all genders, making sure everyone feels safe has definitely shaped how we work with one another.” - Noah T.

Humans for Consent

“I would like to see higher accountability. Too often do I hear accounts of individuals that felt they did not give consent to another person, and despite their efforts, those responsible get to walk away, hands clean. Accountability is vital to ensuring that we can all feel safe, even when we are at our most vulnerable.”

“When I hear about more men coming forward with their own stories of assault, it's a sobering truth to know that this is not a one-sided issue. Knowing that this kind of thing happens to all genders is a reminder that we all need to practice consent and that nobody is unaffected.”

“In my industry, consent is very important. Especially with the #MeToomovement that started back in 2017, consent has become of utmost necessity when in a work environment. Being that the entertainment industry is so collaborative between all genders, making sure everyone feels safe has definitely shaped how we work with one another.” - Noah T.

Humans for Consent  “We see it happen everywhere. Campus environments are particularly horrible when the abuse happens at every level of the university, from the student perpetrators to the administrative officials that we are meant to bestow with our trust. Our trust is gravely misplaced in institutions that cannot provide their students with proper mental health resources, support during a time of trauma, fair investigations, or even following through on a commitment to change the culture. There exists a rampant elitism mixed in with a systematic lack of accountability for anyone who holds the privilege to escape consequences for their actions.”⁣  “The most difficult part was the complete, abysmal loneliness that ate itself into my soul in the following weeks. I felt stripped of my identity, my safety, my livelihood, my ability to focus on anything other than the violation of my consent. I fell into the shadows. It was something I didn’t understand at the time. Your consent is the most precious and important aspect of your liberation. Consent must be understood concretely and protected and preserved and uplifted loudly within a community of individuals who are bonded through intersectional solidarity in a global fight against the factors that perpetuate widespread sexual abuse.”⁣  “You are never alone. You do not have to fight by yourself. You are so valued and divine and loved, beautiful in your strength and resilience against an epidemic of sexual abuse and harassment that we will eradicate together as part of a global human rights movement. But we do have to fight. The time to be silent is over. It has passed long ago, passed along with the lives of women and children around the world who were victims of sexual assault - domestic violence, rape, child marriages, FGM, genocides, war crimes, and more. It all must end.” - Shany E.

Humans for Consent

“We see it happen everywhere. Campus environments are particularly horrible when the abuse happens at every level of the university, from the student perpetrators to the administrative officials that we are meant to bestow with our trust. Our trust is gravely misplaced in institutions that cannot provide their students with proper mental health resources, support during a time of trauma, fair investigations, or even following through on a commitment to change the culture. There exists a rampant elitism mixed in with a systematic lack of accountability for anyone who holds the privilege to escape consequences for their actions.”⁣

“The most difficult part was the complete, abysmal loneliness that ate itself into my soul in the following weeks. I felt stripped of my identity, my safety, my livelihood, my ability to focus on anything other than the violation of my consent. I fell into the shadows. It was something I didn’t understand at the time. Your consent is the most precious and important aspect of your liberation. Consent must be understood concretely and protected and preserved and uplifted loudly within a community of individuals who are bonded through intersectional solidarity in a global fight against the factors that perpetuate widespread sexual abuse.”⁣

“You are never alone. You do not have to fight by yourself. You are so valued and divine and loved, beautiful in your strength and resilience against an epidemic of sexual abuse and harassment that we will eradicate together as part of a global human rights movement. But we do have to fight. The time to be silent is over. It has passed long ago, passed along with the lives of women and children around the world who were victims of sexual assault - domestic violence, rape, child marriages, FGM, genocides, war crimes, and more. It all must end.” - Shany E.

Humans for Consent   cw: description of sexual violence   “Today it has been three whole years. And even today I don’t know if it feels entirely real. We had been dating for six months, when it happened. That is the affectionate, vague term it goes by: “what happened.” We never had actual sex, but would still mess around. And I thought we were just going to bed. What was a simple goodnight kiss turned into him on top of me in his bed. Kissing everywhere. I expressed hesitancy, and he told me, “you know you want to.” I remember him pulling at my wrists, trying to get me to touch him. I remember trying to be gentle, giving his hips a small push off of me. In return, he grabbed my forearms, one at a time, and pinned them above my head, by his headboard. And he kept going. After that, I remember staring at his ceiling. I kept talking, but I have little to no memory of what I said. I think I was just trying to get him to listen. He said, “shut up and kiss me.” He pulled my legs apart, and reached past my shorts, past my underwear, and touched me. Told me, “you know it feels good.” I remember more ceiling. More talking. More kissing and touching I didn’t want. And I don’t know if he just got fed up with me talking. Or got frustrated. But at some point, he rolled off of me. And still staring at the ceiling, I told him how much he scared me. He told me he was sorry in the exasperated, angry way one does when they are only sorry for themselves. After that, I remembered none of it, for four months.”  “It’s still and only ever will be in fragments of memory. I know that is my body trying to protect itself; it’s becoming less and less often now, but sometimes I can still feel the ghosts of his hands. Some days I can get the courage to say out loud what I know to be the truth: I was sexually assaulted by my boyfriend. I was sexually assaulted by someone who was supposed to love me, because he told me he did. A while ago I realized there was a small comfort in knowing he didn’t love me, he couldn’t, he was incapable of doing so. And I realize now that I don’t remember if I said the word “no,” during any of it. But I had said no, in a thousand different wordless ways, both then and for the whole time we had been together. And he pushed and excused and manipulated his way past every single one. It was a slow burn, just leading up to a forest fire. But I am not aflame anymore. Not burned. I am alive and renewed and healing, every day. I am a survivor.” - T.M.

Humans for Consent

cw: description of sexual violence

“Today it has been three whole years. And even today I don’t know if it feels entirely real. We had been dating for six months, when it happened. That is the affectionate, vague term it goes by: “what happened.” We never had actual sex, but would still mess around. And I thought we were just going to bed. What was a simple goodnight kiss turned into him on top of me in his bed. Kissing everywhere. I expressed hesitancy, and he told me, “you know you want to.” I remember him pulling at my wrists, trying to get me to touch him. I remember trying to be gentle, giving his hips a small push off of me. In return, he grabbed my forearms, one at a time, and pinned them above my head, by his headboard. And he kept going. After that, I remember staring at his ceiling. I kept talking, but I have little to no memory of what I said. I think I was just trying to get him to listen. He said, “shut up and kiss me.” He pulled my legs apart, and reached past my shorts, past my underwear, and touched me. Told me, “you know it feels good.” I remember more ceiling. More talking. More kissing and touching I didn’t want. And I don’t know if he just got fed up with me talking. Or got frustrated. But at some point, he rolled off of me. And still staring at the ceiling, I told him how much he scared me. He told me he was sorry in the exasperated, angry way one does when they are only sorry for themselves. After that, I remembered none of it, for four months.”

“It’s still and only ever will be in fragments of memory. I know that is my body trying to protect itself; it’s becoming less and less often now, but sometimes I can still feel the ghosts of his hands. Some days I can get the courage to say out loud what I know to be the truth: I was sexually assaulted by my boyfriend. I was sexually assaulted by someone who was supposed to love me, because he told me he did. A while ago I realized there was a small comfort in knowing he didn’t love me, he couldn’t, he was incapable of doing so. And I realize now that I don’t remember if I said the word “no,” during any of it. But I had said no, in a thousand different wordless ways, both then and for the whole time we had been together. And he pushed and excused and manipulated his way past every single one. It was a slow burn, just leading up to a forest fire. But I am not aflame anymore. Not burned. I am alive and renewed and healing, every day. I am a survivor.” - T.M.

Humans for Consent   cw: description of asexual assault    “My first experience I was a senior in high school, I hadn’t had sex before, and I was hooking up with this guy. It started consensually but it turned...non-consensual. He started having sex with me and in that moment I froze. I wasn’t able to do anything. That’s something I really struggled with, the idea that I should have been able to do something more, I should’ve been able to shout at him or get him off.”  “The second time, I was at a bar with some friends my freshman year of college. Some man essentially drugged me, I don’t really know exactly what happened. My sister was home and saw these three men come in with me and she tried to stop them. They took me to the basement and my sister came down and I was just naked on the floor. I have no idea what happened. That’s one of the scariest and hardest things for me to process because I just don’t have the memory. These people have taken that away from me. Not only do I not know what they did to my body, but they took away my memory.”  “I think the hardest part about my assault was the pain it caused other people. My mom was one of the first people I told. I waited a month to tell anyone because I just wasn’t able to come to terms with what happened. Seeing how upset it made my mother — that was honestly what made me so mad. But now, anytime I feel uncomfortable about what happened or about any relationship, I know I can go to her. There’s not this “Oh, I’m your mother, I don’t wanna hear about anything related to sex,” because she knows I was raped, and the fact that my mom is willing to be there for me has been so powerful. Our relationship actually grew stronger because of this. I can just call and talk to her about anything and I know she’ll be there.” - Ellie S.

Humans for Consent

cw: description of asexual assault

“My first experience I was a senior in high school, I hadn’t had sex before, and I was hooking up with this guy. It started consensually but it turned...non-consensual. He started having sex with me and in that moment I froze. I wasn’t able to do anything. That’s something I really struggled with, the idea that I should have been able to do something more, I should’ve been able to shout at him or get him off.”

“The second time, I was at a bar with some friends my freshman year of college. Some man essentially drugged me, I don’t really know exactly what happened. My sister was home and saw these three men come in with me and she tried to stop them. They took me to the basement and my sister came down and I was just naked on the floor. I have no idea what happened. That’s one of the scariest and hardest things for me to process because I just don’t have the memory. These people have taken that away from me. Not only do I not know what they did to my body, but they took away my memory.”

“I think the hardest part about my assault was the pain it caused other people. My mom was one of the first people I told. I waited a month to tell anyone because I just wasn’t able to come to terms with what happened. Seeing how upset it made my mother — that was honestly what made me so mad. But now, anytime I feel uncomfortable about what happened or about any relationship, I know I can go to her. There’s not this “Oh, I’m your mother, I don’t wanna hear about anything related to sex,” because she knows I was raped, and the fact that my mom is willing to be there for me has been so powerful. Our relationship actually grew stronger because of this. I can just call and talk to her about anything and I know she’ll be there.” - Ellie S.

Humans for Consent  “Do what you can to prove allyship. When a person shares their story, listen and be present. Don’t judge. Ask them what they want, need, and connect them to resources that can provide that. That’s how you create safe spaces for your loved ones who have been hurt.” -Vaani S.

Humans for Consent

“Do what you can to prove allyship. When a person shares their story, listen and be present. Don’t judge. Ask them what they want, need, and connect them to resources that can provide that. That’s how you create safe spaces for your loved ones who have been hurt.” -Vaani S.

Humans for Consent  “I think it is extremely important that men like Brendan Fraser, Terry Crews, and Rahul Kohli are coming forward. It starts a positive conversation to de-stigmatize the fact that men can and are subjected to sexual assault. Traditionally, it is seen as men cannot / do not get sexually assaulted. Statistics show that males do get sexually assaulted and I think that these men sharing their stories allow us to keep the conversation going and show that sexual assault can happen to anyone. When people share their stories, the topic becomes normalized and that gives me hope.“  “I feel like a huge misconception is that men always want sex so there’s no point of asking for consent. There’s this notion that men will always be okay with any sexual advances and that turning down someone, or saying no, isn’t normal for the individual. That is wrong. In the future, I see conversations about male sexual assault being normalized and included in the narrative so that people can see that sexual assault isn’t a gender issue. I would like individuals to remember that everyone deserves respect and has the right to either give or withdraw their consent at any time.” - Atri B.

Humans for Consent

“I think it is extremely important that men like Brendan Fraser, Terry Crews, and Rahul Kohli are coming forward. It starts a positive conversation to de-stigmatize the fact that men can and are subjected to sexual assault. Traditionally, it is seen as men cannot / do not get sexually assaulted. Statistics show that males do get sexually assaulted and I think that these men sharing their stories allow us to keep the conversation going and show that sexual assault can happen to anyone. When people share their stories, the topic becomes normalized and that gives me hope.“

“I feel like a huge misconception is that men always want sex so there’s no point of asking for consent. There’s this notion that men will always be okay with any sexual advances and that turning down someone, or saying no, isn’t normal for the individual. That is wrong. In the future, I see conversations about male sexual assault being normalized and included in the narrative so that people can see that sexual assault isn’t a gender issue. I would like individuals to remember that everyone deserves respect and has the right to either give or withdraw their consent at any time.” - Atri B.

Humans for Consent  "Growing up in the Netherlands in elementary and middle school, it seemed that gender differences were de-emphasized. Our bathrooms were co-Ed the beaches were top less and there seemed to be less eroticism surrounding nudity. The Dutch approach always felt very matter of fact, shrugging traditional judeo- Christian taboos. a teenager’s evolving sexuality was seen as normal. High school sports and competitions were less a part of the school culture and more an activity you participated in outside of school. Higher education is financially accessible for most Dutch citizens . Greek life is also more an American phenomenon than a European one. These factors all seem to contribute to a less palpable presence of rape culture in the Netherlands." - Danielle N.

Humans for Consent

"Growing up in the Netherlands in elementary and middle school, it seemed that gender differences were de-emphasized. Our bathrooms were co-Ed the beaches were top less and there seemed to be less eroticism surrounding nudity. The Dutch approach always felt very matter of fact, shrugging traditional judeo- Christian taboos. a teenager’s evolving sexuality was seen as normal. High school sports and competitions were less a part of the school culture and more an activity you participated in outside of school. Higher education is financially accessible for most Dutch citizens . Greek life is also more an American phenomenon than a European one. These factors all seem to contribute to a less palpable presence of rape culture in the Netherlands." - Danielle N.