This is Pt 2 of the story of a girl who was trafficked as a child. Pt 1 addressed the actual trafficking and can be found HERE. This story continues into high school.. 3 years after the trafficking ended.. when she was sexually assaulted and harassed at school. There is one more part to this story which will be released next Wednesday.
I was in Grade 11 at a high school in Chilliwack, 3 years after being trafficked.
I was always the girl that would sit in the back and only talk to a select few throughout the day. This was the year I decided to change that. I was going to be more outgoing, talk to more people.. and that ended up being a mistake.
We were in social studies class working on our assignments in small groups. I was in the back corner with two of my friends. We were working a bit louder than we normally did, but not overly loud like some of the others in the class.. but that didn’t matter. The teacher – without warning – told me that because of how loud we were talking, I had to move immediately to the other side of the class. She motioned to a chair that was surrounded by guys. I packed up my stuff to move over there. I could see them all whispering and giggling to each other, and I felt extremely uncomfortable.
As soon as I turned to sit down at the desk, one of the guys slid his hand on top of the chair to grab my butt.
Memories flooded back.
I looked at him and he whispered to me, “You’d better meet me after school.” I stood up immediately – entirely fed up. I’d been objectified and exploited my entire life by men and this boy’s actions brought it all back. Not to mention how I had also been carrying the weight of my childhood every day at school on top of its usual physical and emotional strains. I loudly said “Are you f*cking serious?”. The only thing the teacher said was “boys will be boys”.. after witnessing the entire thing.
I stormed out of the classroom, and he followed. This was my best friends’ boyfriend. He’d told her he would always take care of her and would never do anything to hurt her. At this moment I knew I had to talk to her about what happened…but how? I escaped to the bathroom and cried. All I could think about was how I was going to tell my friend. Would she even believe me?
A few moments went by. An EA from the class I was in came into the bathroom and told me I had two options:
1.) To get back to class because I did not have the teacher’s permission to be in the bathroom or
2.) to go to the principal’s office.
I chose the principal’s office.
As I was walking down the stairs to the office, the principal turned the corner to join me. Nobody was around. He tried to pull me closer to him. I’d had enough. I was in complete fight mode as I had been triggered by my classmate. I pushed him as hard as I could and started to run. I did not go to the office, instead I just kept running all the way home. I couldn’t think. I had no emotions. I stared at my phone for the rest of the day. The next morning, my mom forced me to go to school. Thankfully she drove me, but as soon as we arrived, I froze. I could not force myself to move. Tears rolled down my face. After 10 minutes, I finally snapped out of it. I went straight to my locker; I could hardly see. As soon as the warning bell rang, it triggered me like crazy and threw me into panic mode. I couldn’t breathe, and I felt sick. As soon as I saw the classmate who had grabbed me the day prior, I knew I couldn’t do it; I walked the opposite direction to the back door.
He caught up to me and grabbed my wrist as hard as he could and said I was overreacting. This ended up being my last time stepping foot into that school. After talking with counsellors and the principal of the school, nothing had changed and they said nothing could be done about what had happened. I was not safe.
For weeks I received texts from this guy saying what he would do to me if the hallways were empty or if we were alone. I did not leave my house. I was still contemplating what to tell my best friend – his girlfriend. He had been trying to keep us apart for weeks, making up excuses as to why she shouldn’t text me, or come over. I finally got the courage to text her sister to ask my best friend to meet me privately. Of course, she said yes.
She came over and I immediately started to cry. She knew something had happened but didn’t know yet that it involved her boyfriend. I told her and we talked for hours. At first, she did try to blame it on me but soon realized that this wasn’t the first time this had happened with him. I explained that I cannot go back to school.
She ended up joining me and together we did our schooling online. She did not want me to feel alone anymore. As for the guy…. She dumped him that day.
-T, Fraser Valley