Why I Didn’t Report

I didn’t ask for his attention,

but all my friends kept telling me how cute he was.

I think I had a crush on him,

didn’t I?

I mean, we never hung out,

we didn’t have the same friends,

but I must have liked him.

So I ignored what I felt;




It was freshman year,

he was in the play,

and we were in a scene together.

Our breaks during rehearsal were always at the same.

I never knew how it happened really,

though, it happened a couple times.

We would end up outside the theater,

darkness and bushes hiding us from view

as the evening wore on.

Let’s kiss he’d say,

or I want to put my hand up your shirt.

I was so embarrassed,

and what time was it anyway?

What if the director called our scene and we weren’t there?

My stomach would drop and I remember feeling my cheeks get hot.

How did I end up here, again?!

I had no choice.

Can this please be over.

He was older,


if I said no – what would the other girls think?

What would he think?

Worse, what would he say about me, if I didn’t do it?

And so I let him grope me.

And so I kissed him.

After all,

a teenage boy,

at school,

wanting sex,

made far more sense in my young mind

than what I had already experienced;

my grandfather.



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7 thoughts on “Why I Didn’t Report

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    1. This comment is a great illustration of why people don’t report. The onus is on each of us to treat each other appropriately, not on those who have been victimized to “hold men responsible.” Survivors do not have the (response)ability to make perpetrators be accountable because sexual violence and abuse almost always occurs within a system where the survivor is dis-empowered. Only society as a whole and the legal system can bring the perpetrator to account and, as current events showcase well, that is a rare occurrence indeed.

      1. i am sure this is the case. however you would not want this to happen to you or anyone else. somebody has to blow the whistle and make the predator pay or nothing changes.

      2. It has happened to me, repeatedly. I 100% support anyone who wants to attempt to get the legal system or other institutions to hold perpetrators accountable. This option is not equally accessible to everyone. The responsibility is on society as a whole–especially those with privilege and power–to decrease the incidence of sexual violence, not on survivors to “make the predator pay.” We do not have the ability to do so directly, and many of the people who are supposed to intervene instead retraumatize us if we do come forward.

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