School Officials Said Something Absolutely HORRIFIC To This Teen Sexual Assault Victim
If you need more proof that victim blaming is alive and well, look no further than the story of a 16-year-old who says she was sexually assaulted last year on the grounds of Peachtree Ridge high School, in Suwanee, Georgia.
The teen, referred to as T.M. in a report from Slate to protect her identity, says she was waiting for her ride home after school when a male classmate asked her to join him in the schools newsroom to show her some video equipment.
It was there where he allegedly coerced her into performing oral sex.
The next morning, T.M. went directly to one of her teachers and reported the assault.
According to T.M. and a legal complaint her family submitted to the U.S. Department of Educations Office for Civil Rights, a resource officer at the school allegedly asked T.M. why she didnt bite her assailants penis or squeeze his scrotum in order to stop him from assaulting her.
According to the complaint, the Peachtree Ridge resource officer who first questioned T.M. also asked her to describe what she was wearing at the time of the assault.
Yes, because it’s her fault that she was sexually assaulted, and not that of the actual assaulter.
But wait, it gets worse.
The complaint states that within days, T.M. and her parents were informed that she would be suspended, as would the boy, until the school could conduct a joint disciplinary hearing.
There, she and the alleged perpetrator, or their legal representatives, would cross-examine each other.
If T.M. couldnt prove that what shed experienced was assault, she would be disciplined along with the boy for engaging in sexual activity on school grounds, a violation of Peachtrees rules.
In a climate littered with stories of Brock Turner getting let off easy for “20 minutes of action” and a judge telling a rape victim to “keep her knees together,” this speaks to the reason so many victims don’t come forward.
I really wish my school would have helped me instead of looking out for itself, T.M. wrote in a statement. The school took advantage of me, and that wasnt fair. The school should have pulled my attacker out of school and put him somewhere else, far away from me.
T.M.s father saidthat they begged and pleaded with the superintendent to hold separate hearings for T.M. and her assailant.
For seven hours, according to T.M.s parents, lawyers for both of the families and for the school district itself debated the facts and, especially, how to interpret them.
In the end, T.M. was found in violation of Peachtrees Student Conduct Behavior Code, according to the complaint; both students were disciplined, in the form of additional suspensions, for engaging in consensual sexual activity on campus.
T.M is currently enrolled in another high school, but forever impacted by the incident.
What has hurt the most is that I have suffered for something I didnt do,” she wrote. “My school punished me and made it seem like the attack was somehow my fault. For a long time, I thought maybe it was.
And that, right there, is the problem.
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