I've been reading several of the posts and comments on this forum for awhile and I am thoroughly impressed with the people in this community. I look forward to sharing many events, stories and suggestions with everyone and becoming an active member of this community.
Why am I here? Well - this answer is multi-fold. First and foremost, I am a rape survivor. This past October I was raped by an acquantance staying in my dorm/apartment with one of my roommates (we each have singles, 10 women in the house). Beyond just the terror of that horrendous night, I was repeatedly victimied by my friends, family and housemates as no one believed my story and repeatedly attacked me for 1) lying, 2) exaggerating, 3) being an insult to "real" rape victims and 4) relapsing into anorexia from all the trauma. The situation declined to the point I fled my house twice at odd hours of the night - once at 1am, once at 4am. I finally worked with my university to change residences by late November. Throughout the fall semester I faced a series of offenses from the university, from my family, from my friends and from my community. I found sanctuary in our campus Women's Center, initiating my career in advocacy, activism and feminism.
Secondly, I am a survivor of intimate partner/domestic abuse. I had the misfortune of having a boyfriend who went from caring/compassionate/understanding in late late Fall semester to the demanding/controlling/two-faced/intimidating/manipulating Jekel/Hyde of Spring semester. It took a long time for me to realize what was going on in the relationship, that the months of emotional abuse caused another relapse into the eating disorder world. The climatic moment of that relationship involved two seperate accounts of sexual abuse... which clued me in to the fact that this relationship was beyond just bad.
Lastly- but far from leastly- I am a committed advocate for women's rights, for survivors of every kind, and an activist for social reform. I am a proud feminist, while being the very embodiment of "sorority girl" in many aspects. I volunteer extensively at the Women's Center on campus, help facilitate campus discussions about sexual violence, and plan to return to my high school to create a program that addresses these issues in that setting to better prepare students for the experiences they or their friends may have in college.
That's me in a nutshell. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment if you'd like further extrapolation about anything. After a year of counselling and great support with those people I found to be true friends and real advocates... I am ready to bring my story to the world and to challenge the culture that allows these occurances to happen time after time. There is no challenge that we cannot handle - we are survivors.