The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 23, 2024

The No. 3 Texas A&M baseball team took on No. 1 Tennessee Thursday at 1 p.m. at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Alabama. Despite its...

Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
May 23, 2024
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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Survivor: ‘Ready for the day when all of us can breathe easily’

Editor’s note: The Battalion does not publish identifying information of rape and sexual assault victims. The names in this article were omitted to protect the subjects’ identities.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “Are you okay? It just seemed like the thing to do.”
I turned away. Finally, I said, “It’s okay. I’m just thinking. It’s been a long day.”
It was 3 a.m. We’d been up talking about God only knows what. He’d kissed me, but I didn’t want more. We’d been dating for only a short time, virtual strangers. I was naïve enough to think that he shouldn’t drive back to his apartment at that hour; it had been a long football game day, and we were tired and exhilarated by the victory. At least, I was. But he was conscious enough to put his hand around my throat, hard and unforgiving, and bite my lip until I bled. If I’d had the breath to say no, I don’t think I could have. I felt empty, and he pulled my hair, he clutched my throat, and I was gone, somewhere else. I do not know where.
Of course there was further context, other details. But my identity and my past have no bearing on what happened to me, because it was something that was done to me, by another human being. No one asks survivors of robberies whether they were asking for it.
I was numb afterwards. Afraid to draw attention to what happened, I deflected his questions, unable to think, somehow, of a way to ask him to leave. By morning, watching him sleep, I’d convinced myself that it was a miscommunication, and that what was done, was done. I moved on because it was the only thing I could do to remain emotionally intact; it was the least complicated option.
But a year later found me racing out of a lecture on sexual assault, with a constricted, tight feeling in my throat that wouldn’t leave. With shaking hands, I dialed HelpLine. I started seeing a counselor. I saw my doctor, who explained the legalities. I saw a trusted mentor, who remains unswervingly supportive. I saw my friends, who were, many times, the reason I got out of bed. I kept going to class; this was nearly all I did.
Now, I still sometimes feel like it’s all I can do to survive. My experience isn’t uncommon, nor is it representative of all survivors’ experiences, so I can only speak on what I know. I know that it is not easy to speak up within a system that is largely distrusting at best. I know that we must educate ourselves on what consent looks like, because I wouldn’t wish my pain on anyone; no daughter, brother, friend, or stranger. I know that we must rehabilitate our survivors, conscious that one solution doesn’t fit all, and we must remember that while I am the one in five, I am more than a statistic. And I am ready for a day when all of us can breathe easily.
Anonymous ’16

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