This article is to point out how I did not correctly handle a situation, involving sexual assault. Sexual assault can happen at any age to anyone, regardless of gender. The perpetrator could be anyone, also regardless of age and gender. It could be a stranger, or someone you trusted. What matters is how you deal with the situation.
Every story is different, and this is mine.
When I was 11, I had my first boyfriend. For the sake of this article, let's call him J. He and I had similar interests, specifically our music taste, and we both wanted to be in a band one day. We were also both what you could call ‘social outcasts’ at school. So of course, we became close, and it was fun. We never did more than hold hands and cuddle, and after a month we ended it. We stayed friends, but we never really talked much after that.
I changed school at the end of Year 8, but J and I lived in the same village so we would still sometimes see each other.
One day, he and I decided to ride our bikes the two miles into town and see my friends. We hung out with them for an hour or two, then rode our bikes back and decided to stay in my house for a bit. This is where things went wrong.
J was known for being overly sexual in his humour, but I never really thought much of it until that day. We sat in my room, very close as I played a game on my tablet. It was then that he decided to move his hand under my shirt, and then into my bra.
I was completely shocked and uncomfortable by his actions that I froze, not knowing what to do. This gave him the nerve to move his hand down into my jeans and underwear instead. That was the moment I pulled away. However, he then carried on as if nothing had happened, while I remained quiet and uncomfortable until he went home. I never mentioned it to my parents. It took a year for me to mention it to my friends. Some of them didn't believe me, since J was their friend.
“J would never do that” I am so mad at myself for not slapping that guy in the face. Violence isn't the answer, but I couldn't even bring myself to say “no”. And I'm not okay with that fact.
J never tried anything like that again, but we were friends with the same people. Meaning every so often I had to be in the same room as him, knowing that if I mentioned anything he'd deny it. I hated it, I hated him, and I hated myself for not stopping him. I was in my own home, he was not my boyfriend, and I could've said no. I could've pushed him away, and told him to get out of my house.
Now, at 16, I still regret not doing something. I still hate myself for it. Now, I know he has done this to other people. He's known by almost everyone as a pervert.
Why I didn't stop him, I don't actually know. But I do know that I don't want anyone else to go through this.
If anyone ever tries to touch you in a way you don't like, stop them. Push them away, tell them no, go find help. Don't get stuck alone with someone you know could do something to you. If something does happen, tell someone straight away. A friend, a family member, and adult you trust, or even the police.
What J did to me was sexual assault. I did not want it, or ask for it. Now it haunts me, and he has gotten away with doing it to multiple people.
Please don't make the mistake I did.
~ Anonymous ~
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers worldwide with an online platform to share their own experiences to be able to help, inform and educate others on a variety of different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all young people. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.