My Name is Brooke.

My name is Brooke. I have been sexually assaulted three times in the last five years, by three different colleagues. I was “claimed” while working as an intern in college, and raped twice during my first year as a graduate student by members of my cohort who celebrated their shared sexual triumph.

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Brooke declined to provide a photo

My worst moment: Trying to refuse the advances of my second rapist by sharing the story of my first, only for him to ask me to advertise to my department that his dick was bigger.

I have given up on: seeking retribution. There is nothing that can be done to them to make up for the damage to my confidence and well-being. Undergoing the Title IX complaint process was exhausting and unfulfilling.

I’m afraid: these perpetrators will never be stopped. At least one plans to gain a Ph.D. In hopes of teaching at a primarily undergraduate institution for the benefit of “heavy student interaction.”

This has cost me: a $50k/yr job offer right out of undergrad- I wouldn’t work where I had been assaulted. I moved on to grad school, because I thought academia would be better. I pay $2,000 a year for therapy and antidepressants, and will be taking a job outside of the academy after finishing my program.

Something you should know about me: I told myself none of this wouldn’t stop me from getting my degree. It hasn’t yet.

My fight song: “Had Enough,” Lower than Atlantis

My secret weapon: A wonderfully supportive network of lab mates, an impossibly patient SO, and a kick-ass therapist.