Little did I know, my life started to go downhill when I was 14 years old but to me, it seemed that things couldn’t be more perfect. My boyfriend at the time and I were very happy – I know it sounds silly for a 14-year-old to be saying this, but at the time my boyfriend, who was then 16, and I were in love, or so I thought; little did I know that my mind was being warped and manipulated by a selfish 16-year-old guy. Being a Christian, I stood firmly against sexual relations, not because of my religion, but because I genuinely thought that saving my virginity was the right thing to do for myself, my boyfriend who was also a Christian, told me that he felt the same way – which I soon found out was a ploy to manipulate my innocence. We had been happily together for over six months, I had turned 15 and then that’s when he made his move – it started by asking questions about when I would be ready for sexual intimacy, telling me that his mates were encouraging him to have sex and then he started using his grief over the loss of great-grandmother and grandmother, may their souls rest in peace, to get me alone in a private area. Then one month after my 15th birthday, after months upon months of mental and emotional manipulation, I was sexually assaulted by him…
A staff member saw the incident and was able to stop things from getting even worse. I was given an in-school suspension, lost my responsibility role in the school as a captain and dealt with bullying all year long. I was called a “slut” and a “whore” my members of the staff at school, I was blamed for the incident. I was discriminated against and punished unfairly, my now ew-boyfriend on the other hand… he also received an in-school suspension but other than that, he got of scott-free. My world came crashing down, I was an emotional wreck, I even started to cut my wrist at one point. No one seemed to see or understand what I was going through, part of which was my fault because I’m good at hiding my true emotions. He was given “counselling sessions” with the male school chaplain whereas I on the other hand got no such treatment, I was forced to seek help from the female school chaplain but she hardly ever made time to see me, and when she did she bluntly said to my face that “I am a whore and it’s my own fault and that she is not qualified to help me”. Three months later, my ex-boyfriend assaulted one of my closest friends at the school, it wasn’t until this second assault that the school decided to take action and expel him. To help you understand a few things, you must first know a couple of things: my ex-boyfriend’s parent is a staff member at the school, he attends the same church as the principle of the school and many other staff members of the school, and also that the school has two campuses in two different locations. Things were now starting to look up for me, I mean yeah people were still saying awful things about me and spreading false rumours, but I brushed it off and focused on myself and had my best friend by my side to help me get through so many things. It was getting close to the end of year 10 and it was time to choose my VCE subjects, however they didn’t work at the campus I was attending. It had been half a year since my ex-boyfriend had been expelled and I saw no reason why I shouldn’t apply for a transfer to the campus of the school – my subjects worked over there, there was a bus to school five minutes from my house, I had plenty of friends over at the other campus, it just seemed right and it worked, I was told that my transfer application had been accepted and I was all set to start orientation there and get settled in until I received a phone call from the principle. My world came shattering down into a million pieces all over again; I was told that I was no longer allowed to set foot on the second campus because my ex had been accepted there to complete his final year of VCE and I was told that I needed to move schools. So to sum it all up, I was punished severely for the actions of a man who took advantage of a young girl while we practically got off scott-free.
PLEASE READ: If you or anyone else you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the authorities! I decided against it and then one of my closest friends ended up being sexually assaulted by the same guy, I had the power to stop it, I could have prevented my friend from going through that horrible ordeal but I stayed quiet. After his second assault I contacted the police and to this day the investigation is still on-going. If you have been or know of anyone that has been sexually assaulted, please contact the authorities because not only will you be saving other women, you will also be saving yourself from feeling guilty and responsible if another woman is assaulted by the same guy and you stayed quiet. Speaking up takes courage and you are not alone! Please speak up!