Was I sexually assaulted? Watch

Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 11 months ago
#1
The #WhyIDidntReport has got me thinking... There was this thing a while ago but at the time I didn't know what it was so I didn't report it. I don't even know if it counts...
It was my science teacher. I had just turned 16. Someone in my class spread a rumour about me having a crush on him, because he was young and handsome and I blushed a lot in lessons when he talked to me and I helped him hand out books and worksheets a lot. (but the reality is that I had pretty bad anxiety and had only just begun treatment for it so I was scared to get anything wrong so the flush was more embarrassment than anything and the reason I helped with worksheets and stuff is that my name was at the top of the register so he'd call on me)
Anyway, shortly after this rumour started he talked to me even more. Before this in class he'd make sure he checked in on a few students every lesson, different ones every time, and over the week he'd have covered the whole class. After this rumour he would check up on me every lesson. While he'd check on me he would put his hand on my back. He would ask me if I was okay with the classwork while tracing circles over my back, and the circles would get smaller and smaller until his hand rested on my bra. The clasp, specifically. Then he'd drum his fingers on it until I'd finished my worksheet and walk off.
I remember at the time that I was really uncomfortable, I would always tense up, and I would dread him coming over to talk to me. It reminded me of something that my abusive boyfriend used to do to me, but I wasn't going to tell him that in the middle of class, and I made sure none of my friends knew about any of that, either.
So I asked him if I could speak to him privately outside of lessons and he immediately suggested the start of lunchtime that day. I agreed, went to my next lesson, then came back at lunch to meet him. Alone. I know it was dumb but I really didn't want anyone to know about the previous abuse and I figured all I'd have to say is "please don't touch my back" and this whole situation would be over and done with.
This is when things escalated.
I came in and he was sitting at his desk. He didn't get up to greet me, which I thought was weird as he usually stands whenever anyone at all walks into the room. My class used to make fun of him for it (to his face. in an obviously joking way).
He had one hand under the desk and he used to other to point at a chair on the other side of his desk. Also weird as that chair is never normally there and when he's talking to students he prefers to sit at their desks as that way he can sit next to them as opposed to opposite. It's worth mentioning at this time that the students' desks are open, that is to say that they're rows of science benches with no panel between the desk and the floor, so it's just table legs at each end and the teacher can see every part of us except for the part that's behind the actual desk. The teacher's desk, however, had a panel between the desk and the floor that hides everything below the desk from view.
He asked me what I wanted to talk to him about and I started to speak about my abusive ex and the back thing that they both happened to do. The teacher propped his head on one hand, so his mouth was covered, and nodded and said "mhm" and "I see" and stuff like that as I spoke, which made me think he was listening.
Then his other arm started to move. The hand on this arm had been under the desk this whole time.
To this day there is 0 doubt in my mind that he was jerking off. I'd seen guys do that before (ex again and the guy I was seeing when this incident occurred) and the motions of his arm were exactly the same. At one point he even groaned, but his hand was in his face so it was quiet, and his neck kept tensing up, and towards the end of our meeting he even reached for a tissue, which he then "dropped" under the desk, and I saw the movement of his under the desk hand reaching for it.
When I saw that I made quick work of finishing off my explanation as to why I didn't want him touching me, and he nodded and said he wouldn't anymore, and then indicated I could leave. Again, no standing up, no handshake. Although I wouldn't have accepted it if there was one.
So was I assaulted? Is it only assault if I was touched or he openly did it in front of me?
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Paralove
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#2
Report 11 months ago
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That's really concerning. Are you still at that school? I really think you should tell this to a teacher you're happy to talk to.

At places like schools there will be safeguarding measures in place, with specific staff members designated as the safeguarding officers. If a student says anything to a teacher, that might be of concern in some way, they have a duty to report it the officer - which this teacher should have done, if he was being professional. He wasn't, and I highly doubt he told any other teacher about the meeting. Abuse and harrassment are never okay, and they don't need to have done something to you physically - the fact that you felt so uncomfortable is a sign that wasn't normal or okay.

Again, this is something worth talking to another teacher about, that you trust, like a teacher or other staff member. This was nothing on you, it was not your fault or anything like that!
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Waldorf67
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Report 11 months ago
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Eesh:eek:
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Anonymous #1
#4
Report Thread starter 11 months ago
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(Original post by Paralove)
That's really concerning. Are you still at that school? I really think you should tell this to a teacher you're happy to talk to.

At places like schools there will be safeguarding measures in place, with specific staff members designated as the safeguarding officers. If a student says anything to a teacher, that might be of concern in some way, they have a duty to report it the officer - which this teacher should have done, if he was being professional. He wasn't, and I highly doubt he told any other teacher about the meeting. Abuse and harrassment are never okay, and they don't need to have done something to you physically - the fact that you felt so uncomfortable is a sign that wasn't normal or okay.

Again, this is something worth talking to another teacher about, that you trust, like a teacher or other staff member. This was nothing on you, it was not your fault or anything like that!
(Original post by Waldorf67)
Eesh:eek:
I'm not there anymore. I'm in college now. He didn't tell anyone about the meeting, at least, I assume not as there was no follow up. The next class he just completely ignored me. And I told him about my ex boyfriend, with ex being the key word. As I've left the school it might be too late, and I think he's teaching somewhere else now, anyway. But like... he was 100% jerking off. Does that count as assault as all he did to me physically was touch my back before the jerking off incident occurred?
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Paralove
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#5
Report 11 months ago
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I'm not there anymore. I'm in college now. He didn't tell anyone about the meeting, at least, I assume not as there was no follow up. The next class he just completely ignored me. And I told him about my ex boyfriend, with ex being the key word. As I've left the school it might be too late, and I think he's teaching somewhere else now, anyway. But like... he was 100% jerking off. Does that count as assault as all he did to me physically was touch my back before the jerking off incident occurred?
Any unwanted sexual contact, whether that be verbal, visual or physical, is considered sexual assault, with no explicit consent from the person. What you've outlined above might also come under harrassment too. So, in short - yes.

You can tell a college teacher about this, or anyone who might be specifically designated for pastoral issues (thror, counsellor - depends on what the college has). And you should, even if you're no longer at the school, or if he's left.

Sometimes incidents like this often weigh on you and you don't realise how much until you tell someone else. Even if you think it's a small thing, it isn't okay and it playing on your mind is perhaps a signal to disclose it to someone. It's something I found really helpful for things that have happened to me, even just telling one person made it feel like the weight of it had left somewhat.
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