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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

Content warning: This story mentions rape and sexual assault.

His assault would go on to shape my relationships and comfortability with men; he is why I feel small, in the moments I’m left alone with my deepest, darkest thoughts. At the time of the incident, I felt powerless and numb, my senses stunted. I couldn’t find my voice, and even though I knew it was wrong, I had convinced myself that I would face the consequences: the consequences of his violation of my body. More so, I felt as if no one would believe me.

He made me hate myself, he took my sense of being. To this day, my heart sinks when I recall his words, “it was just a joke.” It wasn’t a joke. Sexual assault is never a joke. Years later I found a semblance of courage to confide in my closest friends, then my mother. They helped me in overcoming my misguided guilt about the situation; it was his crime and shame to feel, not mine.

Believe survivors, and know, regardless of the circumstances, it was never the fault of you, the survivor of sexual assault. I did not ask for it. No one does. 

If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673 or visit hotline.rainn.org/online.

Justice Morris (she/her) is a second-year history and Mexican American Latino Studies double major at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also pursuing a Core Texts and Ideas certificate. Justice is a passionate writer; she enjoys sharing her thoughts on the arts, life as a college student, and her cultural experiences as a Chicana woman. You can find more of her work in The Liberator, the official publication of the College of Liberal Arts.