Sexually Harrassed at School

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I was sexually harassed everyday in class for a year when I was 13. This guy used to say things, which i could ignore, but he also used to grope and grab my chest and butt and he used to try to stick his hand between my legs. I had a hard time with that. He did it no matter what i did or said.

I was afraid to tell anyone though. I didn’t think they would believe me. The next year he comes up to me and says hey I’m sorry can i have a hug? And i was stupid and naive and let him. Well he wrapped his arms around me and grabbed my butt. To this day i wont give even my guy friends a hug.

He continued touching me that whole year. Last year he would talk about how he liked it and was going to again and what it was like. This year he’s said stuff a few times and he grabbed my butt once.

I’m 15 now and I have to sit next to him in English and I’m constantly waiting for something to happen. I promised myself i would talk to a counselor about having no classes with him in the future when scheduling comes but that’s in a week and i don’t think i can do it…i don’t know what to do because I’ve got to put an end to this.

A: I’m so, so sorry you’ve had to deal with this all on your own. No one should have to live in a constant state of anxiety about being molested. You are an amazingly strong young woman to have been able to manage this for so long. You’re right. It has to stop. Apparently, this guy is very sneaky and has figured out how to get to you without being seen. He’s gotten away with it for so long, he doesn’t believe he will ever be accountable. Since he’s so good at it, I have to wonder if there are other girls who have also been victims.

Unfortunately, the only way the adults in authority can be helpful is if someone tells them what is going on. Please gather up your courage and talk to your parents and to the school administration. You should not have to put up with this a minute longer. He shouldn’t sit next to you in school. He shouldn’t even be allowed in school until he gets some treatment for being a bully and a predator. You won’t get peace and he won’t get treatment until you speak up.

I’m sorry that it does fall on you to take the lead. I don’t blame you a bit if you feel vulnerable and scared. It might help you talk about it if you showed your folks your letter and this response. I hope the people you tell will take you seriously and act immediately.

It would help you a lot if you could have the help of a therapist or counselor until things settle down. You need someone who is decidedly supportive. I hope you have some good friends who will also stick by you.

Speaking up isn’t easy. Please don’t give up. As hard as it is to find the courage to stand up for yourself, it is also an important way to become a stronger person who won’t be victimized again.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Feb 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Sexually Harrassed at School. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/02/25/sexually-harrassed-at-school/