Sticks and Stones

“That was the longest day of my life. Not one person called me by my real name. I was beginning to get mad. Each time I said “Olivia,” I got louder and louder and angrier and angrier. By the time I left school that day, I was ready to explode. What was so hard about calling me by my real name?

Outside of school, a gang of kids was waiting for me.

“Hey Squak! Come here,” Brad yelled to me.

“My name’s not Squak, it’s Olivia,” I yelled back, continuing on my way.

I knew that if I got near enough to him I probably would have hit him so I just kept walking. I made it about half a block when I felt a hand around my arm. Whoever it was, they were alone because I saw all of the other kids leaving the schoolyard. I never felt so alone in my life.”

- excerpt from “Sticks and Stones” by Cheryl D.

Read more of Cheryl’s story and other stories of survival in the Prose and Poetry sections. And submit your story to Together we can tell our stories and prove the importance of sharing these words.

Beautiful Sunsets

He wanted to show me a really pretty beach that was nearby. I said no. He said it was so beautiful and I would love it. He said we will watch the sunset together. I said no. He said it won’t take long… Let’s just watch the sunset together before it is too late… It did not make sense. I am scared. I am in his car. I am in my bikini. I am alone with him. There is no beautiful beach. There is no sunset. I do not know how to get back to my hotel. His beautiful eyes and smile are gone.” (excerpt from “Beautiful Sunsets”)

Read “Beautiful Sunsets” posted in the Prose section. Thank you, Tori, for the courage and strength it took to share your story. You are among friends.

Join Tori in the campaign to end the silence surrounding sexual violence. One story at a time.

When Words Disappear

“How come you didn’t scream?” He asked, the body of a boy wearing the face of a man.

How could she tell him that the scream sulked away in the night and abandoned her there? Just like the way we are helplessly silent in dreams, she opened her mouth and only the heat of breath emerged. Breath free of noise, free of the desperate cry that twisted inside in her throat. She reached her hand inside her throat but her fingers touched only the softness of her own spit. Perhaps the scream was hiding in the warm sponge beneath her tongue. Maybe it had circled, lost, in the maze of her closed teeth. Wherever it was, it was lost and no matter how she wiggled her fingers around in her mouth, it remained hidden.

(excerpt from We Are All Made of Stardust, by Emily Monroe)

Why are we silent? When we most need our words, they suddenly disappear. Fickle friends. Sometimes we are all silent. Sometimes there are things we want to say, but can’t quite summon the words. Maybe once you wanted to tell someone that you loved them. And you didn’t. Maybe once you wanted to ask for forgiveness. And you didn’t. Maybe once you wanted to ask for help. And you didn’t.

But maybe the words are there. Maybe they are just waiting. Waiting for a vehicle, for a story, for a poem, for a VOICE.

Submit Stories!

  • Are you a survivor of rape or sexual violence?
  • Are you a friend or family member of a sexual violence survivor?
  • Do you have a story to tell?

The End the Silence campaign wants your story! Whether it is a realistic narrative, a work of fiction, or a poem, your story has the power to open paths of communication and inspire and educate others.

Please send submissions to so that your story can appear on the site and inspire others.

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