My name is Magz.
In 2006, the second week of my freshman year at Goucher College, I was sexually assaulted by one of the co-creators of the popular independent card game Cards Against Humanity. He was my next-door neighbor. Someone I thought I could trust.
It has taken me eight years to be able to make that statement publicly.
Why did it take eight years? Why did I not report it? Why is he not in jail? Why can’t we find any of this on Google?
Because it took eight years for me to heal enough in order to tell my story. It took eight years for me to be more angry at my attacker than I was with myself for “putting myself” in the situation where I could be attacked by a relative stranger. It took eight years for me to stand up for the scared homesick kid that I was.
It took eight years and a shooting in Santa Barbara for #YesAllWomen to happen.
When that campaign started, I read many of the brave and heartbreaking stories that others had posted, including some from my closest friends. My immediate response was to say to myself “They are so brave. I could never say what happened to me.”
That was my wake up call. I got angry with myself, just one more time. Angry that I was buying into the bullshit that keeps so many survivors silent about what has happened to them.
Angry that I felt guilty about my attacker not listening, not hearing my refusal. Guilt about something that I tried to stop.
Anger is an underrated emotion. Anger can give you a voice.
It finally gave me mine.
I am not interested in pressing charges. I don’t think my attacker is a serial predator. I see my assault as an almost textbook example of a “crime of opportunity”. I have no interest in personal compensation, monetary or otherwise. I have no interest in his company or in stifling his intellectual or personal life. If I did, I would use my full name. I frankly have an infinite number of better, more positive things on which to focus my life and attentions.
What I have learned from all of this is that, for all of my fears of rejection, dismissal, and ridicule I have only received expressions of love, respect, and support. All of this anger and energy would be better focused on ensuring that every survivor should be able to speak out about their experiences secure in the knowledge that they are not alone, that they too are entitled to their own voice and their own life.
I am speaking out because it helps survivors of rape and sexual assault. It helps them know that they are not alone. It helps them find their own voice. It helps us own our stories.
I recommend that anyone who wants to make a positive difference look into supporting one or all of these excellent organizations:
RAINN - Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network: https://www.rainn.org/
The Joyful Heart Foundation: www.joyfulheartfoundation.org
Men Stopping Violence: www.menstoppingviolence.org
Not Alone: www.notalone.gov
A draft of this statement was sent to my assailant in response to an email from him.
I received no reply.