Hollis Brown

I was sexually assaulted during my sophomore year of college by a male athlete. We’d been talking, and one night, I went over to his apartment. We started kissing, and I decided I didn’t want to continue anymore, and immediately wanted to leave. He pushed me down and sexually assaulted me. The next day, I went to class, and cried throughout class, and on the bus ride home. I reached out to a friend, who doubted my side of the story and questioned if it was really rape. I went back to class the next day, and my friend’s boyfriend asked me how the other night with the perpetrator went, and I began to cry again. He asked what was wrong, and I told him. He told me that wasn’t ok and talked to his girlfriend. She in return apologized for not understanding the situation.

I did not tell anyone else for a year, until I wrote about it in a paper for one of my classes. My professor helped me connect with a school counselor, but I wasn’t emotionally ready.  After some time, I tried therapy again, but the therapist asked “why” questions like “Why did you go alone?” which reinforced the doubt and guilt I already felt. I felt defeated, alone, and helpless for months due to some of the closest people to me not knowing how to help.

Several years later, I feel like I can finally talk about my experience, and I have found therapeutic outlets that work for me. Moving forward, I hope to be a resource for the friends and family members of sexual assault victims; educating them on ways to become a better support system through the journey to healing and ensuring no one goes through such a traumatic moment feeling alone like I once did.