After seeing a video Buzzfeed launched about seeing your rapist again, I responded with my sexual assault story. My experience was not nearly as bad as many others, but still affected me none the less. A few days ago I saw him again.
It all started in 6th grade, we had to take the practice version of the state-mandated standardized test. One of my friends and I were only 11 at the time. The bell rang after 2 hours to signify all the 6th graders to go to lunch and that testing had ended. We all ran out of our designated classrooms (as my grade was about 450). I was near the lunch room when a boy, let's call him Liam, put one arm around my shoulder. Now I knew Liam, he was in my French 1 class, right after lunch. He grabbed my right boob. "Wanna be friends?" he asked. After about 4 seconds and pushed him into a nearby wall. "Get off me you creep!" I screamed. My friend, seeing the whole thing, yelled some unsavory words at him as the rest of the student body screamed and ran off.
My friend came up to me, "Reagan, he touched your boob." I hugged her and went done to lunch. She and I told the story to my friends,who insisted I told the women in charge of our grade. After lunch I went up to her and said my story. I had a reputation as a good kid, helpful and well behaved. She knew I would never lie about something like this.
They called my parents and suspended Liam for two weeks. My French 1 teacher was instructed to make us sit on opposite sides of the classroom. We were also not allowed to do partner work together. He left my school that year and I kept the incident in the back of my head.
Skip to a few years later. Instead of going to my home high school I tried out, and got into to, a magnet school for gifted students. My friends from my home school like to encourage me to do things with them, such as football games, parades, and homecoming. Last Friday I went to that week's football game and saw Liam. We spoke no words, I'm not even sure he remembered me, but I did. I truly wanted to slap him and inform him that I hadn't ,and could never, forget what he had done. They told me to be the bigger man, and we moved our seats to be farther from him. I felt scared, hurt, vengeful, and just so much rage.
Though I was fortunate enough to get help, many aren't. I am happy that he was given due justice. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted contact your school, local authorities, or a trusted adult as soon as possible. Remember, it is never your fault.