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By Dexia Smith

“Whether 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted by the time they reach college, or 1 in 4 women, it happened to me, too. Though my “it” may not have involved actual penetration, I still received unwanted attention that an 11-year old, or a child of any age should not endure.

I was at a family member’s house for New Year’s and all the adults went out and left the teens to watch the rest of the kids. I went upstairs and closed the door behind me because my brothers weren’t there to protect me, so I had to protect myself.

While laying down, probably watching a re-run of Spongebob, the door opened, and there stood the teen that was supposed to just be chaperoning. He came toward the bed and I froze. Imagine a child looking up to a giant grizzly bear….yeah, he was that huge.

UntitledHe tried to touch me and said, “Come on,” but I kicked him and screamed. He put his hands over my mouth and told me to be quiet and that he was “just playing.” It was NOT a joke to me. Still isn’t. When he left the room, I slid a chair underneath the handle to act as a lock since the room door didn’t have one. The next day, I went downstairs for breakfast and there he was, smiling at me. The image still remains in my head…”

That is an excerpt I wrote recounting my sexual assault story written on my site that I created with a few other journalists at UNT. I am a survivor of sexual assault, so advocating for awareness and support groups for survivors has always been placed closed to my heart.

It’s a refreshing feeling knowing that I am not alone which is something I want every survivor of sexual assault to know, whether male or female.

I directed, produced, and edited both part one and part two of the “UNT Speaks Out” videos and I am also the co-creater of the “UNT Speaks Out” campaign.

I ask that our project continues to reach the masses and shed a light on what’s going on here at UNT.