A Warning to All Mandated Reporters

by

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


A word of caution: my story will make you sad. It might even make you angry. This is my story, and I believe that there are many others like it. I don’t want to recall these events, but I cannot stay silent any longer.

When I was 16, at the age when I should have been worrying about getting my dream role in the school musical or getting a solo in the chorus concert, I was the victim of a sexual assault. I won’t refer to my abuser as male or female because I am simply not ready to call this person out by name.

This person attempted to sodomize me. When that failed, they continued to do other sick and twisted things to me. They continued when I was frozen, when I didn’t consent. They kept going when I pushed them off of me, when I said “No, I don’t like that. Stop.” In the aftermath, I wondered why one of my best friends would do this to me. Why would someone who claimed to care about me abuse me?

For the next year of my life, I suffered from crippling depression, panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts. It was hands down the worst year of my entire life. To cope, I tried to block the event out, to convince myself that what I thought happened actually didn’t happen, and that this depraved person was my friend. I continued to sit next to my assailant in many of my classes. In AP Physics, this horrible person would help me sometimes. My abuser even sat near me in my favorite class, musical theater. I couldn’t admit to myself that in reality, this person wasn’t my friend, that they had only been manipulating and grooming me.

To make matters worse, my sexual abuser claimed to be a social justice warrior. In their Twitter bio, they said that Elizabeth Warren was their hero. In the months after they had abused me, during my junior year of high school, the person who assaulted me scolded and humiliated me for a supposedly offensive tweet. This person, knowing good and well what they had done to me, called me a racist, a bigot, and a homophobe with no evidence whatsoever. That was the day I cut all “friendly” ties with this person. I could see now what kind of person they were.

I came forward to my high school’s administration a little over a year after the assault, when I was 17. A friend helped me gain the courage to march into my high school counselor’s office and go over my sexual abuse. The counselors wanted me to repeat my story over and over. I was glad to talk about it after carrying the weight of this horrible event for so long. After I described my assault three times in excruciating detail, the counselors seemed very concerned. I thought getting justice would be easy. After all, my assaulter had confessed to me.

The day after my assault, I had called this person, and they had tearfully admitted what they had done. I was convinced that the guilt this person was feeling was eating them alive, and that they might confess again if confronted. But my story faded into the cinder blocks of the counseling office.

The high school’s social workers told me that I needed “long-term counseling.” They acted as though there was nothing that could be done, even after I asked them over and over to file a report. After telling my story many times to these mandated reporters who were supposed to protect not only me, but others from future abuse, they still wouldn’t help me get justice.

The following school year, I quit theatre. It was my pride and joy, but I couldn’t stand to be near my hypocritical, evil abuser. I couldn’t, however, get out of AP Calculus with this person. Throughout my entire senior year, I wondered how my abuser slept at night.

I was inspired to write down my story by the brave Olympic and collegiate gymnasts who shared their statements about Dr. Larry Nassar’s abuse. Those brave women all expressed a need for change in the institutions that allowed for their sexual abuse to occur. In such institutions, every employee is a mandated reporter, with a duty to alert authorities of abuse, yet they often fail to do soas they did with me.

My high school could have been an accessory to further abuse by the same person that abused me. I was unable to move on from my sexual assault because my high school’s employees failed to do their duty.

I hope that this has never happened before at my high school. I hope that I am the only one who was abused by my abuser. I hope that I am the only abuse victim that was ignored by my high school when she asked for justice, but, the fact of the matter is, I won’t know until I come forward.

To my abuser: you are weak and small now compared to the girl you violated. After hearing from 156 women this week who have experienced sexual abuse, I know that I am not alone. I am a survivor. I can finally be heard, and I can be believed.

Ellie Hicks is a junior at Kennesaw State University majoring in Public Relations. Ellie is a summer fellow for the Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women. When she isn’t writing about politics, she loves hanging out with her cats and singing Taylor Swift songs! Ellie’s greatest passion is to advocate for the unborn through writing, activism, and service. She hopes to one day work in Washington, D.C. and make a change for the lives of the unborn!

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Ellie Hicks

Kennesaw State University

Ellie Hicks is a junior at Kennesaw State University majoring in Public Relations. Ellie is a summer fellow for the Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women. When she isn’t writing about politics, she loves hanging out with her cats and singing Taylor Swift songs! Ellie’s greatest passion is to advocate for the unborn through writing, activism, and service. She hopes to one day work in Washington, D.C. and make a change for the lives of the unborn!

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