Tonight hubby read an article in Sports illustrated. You can click it to read the full article but the short version is that a highschool girl (cheerleader) was sexually assaulted by 3 guys at a sports party. She reported it and sought to press charges. In the lapse of time between the event and justice, she was cheering at a game that one of the attackers was playing at. When he went to the free throw line, instead of cheering for this boy, she quietly stepped back from the line and didn't participate in that part. She was kicked off the cheer squad. Her dad was almost instantly in the principal's office defending his daughter.
Hubby told me if we had daughters and someone, especially someone in authority at a school, treated our daughter the way this girl was treated that I had better bring bail money with me. I think he's serious! Actually I'm nearly postive that he is. I can actually visualize my hubby jumping across a desk and beating the crap out of the princinpal. Hubby was furious with the school, why did they allow sports to be a bigger priority than the mental and physical welfare of this girl?
As we discussed this situation, far removed from me and my life, I must have made a face. Hubby asked me what and I didn't answer. Finally he said, "Ok? Talk to me gorgeous, what are you thinking?" I finally told him that I was angry, no furious, no just pissed off. It wasn't that she wasn't protected, it was that I wasn't. After I was attacked in highschool the first time, my parents were in the principals office nearly daily trying to get consequences for the boy who attacked me. The school gave him a couple days in school suspension but left it at that. Buttons were torn off my shirt, my bra straps were broken, but he said he couldn't help it, that's just the way he is and the school bought it. Finally after 2 months, my mom went over the principal's head and within days this boy was expelled from the school. It took 2 months of fighting with the school that a 2 day in school suspension was not appropriate consequences for sexual assault of this magnitude, of having to look my attacker in the eye everyday, of having the whole school talking about me, before someone finally protected me.
By the time the school acted, there were several vicious rumors going around about me, and also several other younger than me girls had asked if I had mentioned them when I talked to the administration. They were relieved when I told them no, but had I known in advance that I was not the only person this boy attacked, I would have most certainly told about these other girls and would have pressed a lot harder to get justice. I should have pressed legal charges. These other girls should have pressed legal charges. But we all felt so uncomfortable with how the school handled it that we didn't want to hear one more person question if it had really happened (afterall, he was a fairly nice and well liked boy). My parents should have pressed charges, even though I was scared to. They shouldn't have left the option to me.
I felt vulnerable. I felt weak. I felt unprotected. I felt livid to read about another girl who should have been protected and wasn't. That article pissed me off royally, but not just for this girl and the lack of action from the school, but also for me and the lack of action from my school. My emotions are so haywire with it. Hopefully a good night's sleep will bring clarity with the morning.