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#1 of 15 Old 04-11-2011, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I apologize for the long-windedness of this in advance but I am fuming right now. Also, the more details I give now the better understanding you will have.

 

DD2 is in theater. She loves theater, theater is her home, the theater kids understand her, etc. DD2 has a friend who for these purposes I will call ‘John.’ John is a nice kid. He’s very friendly and his older sister is one of DD2’s closest friends. John is a sophomore in high school, so fifteen or sixteen. He’s on the taller and larger side, but the girls all call him a ‘big teddy bear.’

DD2 texted me today while in class and asked me ‘what would be the consequences of a high school boy being charged with sexual harassment?’

 

When she got home tonight I got the full story which is as follows:

 

John is very touchy feely. Now it being theater, touchy is considered ‘one of those things’ that comes with being in theater. (Or so I have been informed consistently.) Now, John takes it too far. John constantly grabs girls’ butts, kisses them both on the cheek (and lips) without their permission and tries to unhook their bras. He laughs it off when they ask him or tell him to stop.

 

One of DDs friends told him the other day to stop trying to unhook her bra and when he didn’t she told him that he was ‘out of luck, because her bra was a front clasp’ at which point he immediately moved his hands and started trying to unhook it at the front and grabbing her breasts. One of the other boys came and moved him away from them. Friday night DD was leaving a friend’s house and hugging everyone good night. She hugged him and while they were hugging he slid his hand down the back of her pants. He went through her pants but not her underwear and grabbed her ass.  DD2 at this point slapped him across the face and told him if he ever did that again he was going to be in very big trouble and she would call someone.

 

Earlier this year DD2 was having similar problems with this boy, (much less extreme) but she sat down and had a very serious conversation with him (one that her boyfriend also had with him when DDs didn’t have the effectiveness she wanted it to) about personal boundaries. John told her he was gay and that it was because of this that he was always all over girls as he had yet to come out to his parents or many others. DD2 told him that that was still not an acceptable reason to make others uncomfortable with his actions. Lately whenever someone has told him that he's making them uncomfortable he has responded with, 'it's okay, I'm gay.'

 

The phrase ‘no means no’ was decided by a male friend to be the ‘step back’ term when John was getting too close to others. Now whenever someone says that he laughs and stops for a second before resuming whatever he is attempting to do. I mentioned earlier that John is on the larger side. My daughter is 5’1 and 115 lbs. If she wants him to get off of her there is no possible way for her to shove him off as he is much larger.

 

Saturday night DD and many of her friends went to an intergenerational dance (basically a dance with the elderly). The kids swing dance and tango and talk to the people and just generally have a good time. John was also there. As the older people were leaving the kids were still dancing. John came up and was grinding on her. (She was slow dancing with her boyfriend.) He kept feeling her back and finally proclaimed “you’re not wearing a bra??? What am I going to unhook?”

 

DD2 is uncomfortable and frankly pissed off. The mama bear in me is ready to storm somewhere and demand action, but DD2 wants to handle it on her own. She has two solid points – 1) next year she will be in college. She needs to handle herself. 2) This has to be from her and other friends, who since hearing that DD is going to take some kind of action, want to be involved. Me saying stop will have no effect.

 

She thinks that an intervention (and any charges at this point) is ridiculous. Also, because any sit down with a lot of serious people would be laughed off by John as he doesn’t seem to understand the seriousness of this. DD2 wants him to understand and respect hers (and their friends) personal boundaries. Her main concern is that one day he is going to do this to the wrong girl and wind up in a very bad situation. (A college freshman who went to her school is currently in jail awaiting trial for rape and sexual assault which is adding to all of this.)

 

There isn't really a question here besides 'what can I do to help my daughter?' and thank you for listening to my rant so I can continue to listen to DD2.


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#2 of 15 Old 04-11-2011, 08:58 PM
 
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Honestly, I would encourage her to encourage the other girls and boys who have experienced his sexual harassment or witnessed it to step forward with your daughter and report him to either the school counselor or the police.  The punishment in high school for what he is doing is much smaller than the punishment he'd get as an adult and if he goes further... but it might be just enough to wake him up to what he is doing and just how wrong it is.

 

I had a neighbor who harassed girls.  He used to brag about how he could get away with anything.  Adults always trusted and liked him and whenever they caught him doing something he shouldn't, he could talk his way out of it.  Finally me and two other girls reported him but unfortunately we weren't enough (no one else was willing to report) and didn't have any proof by that point so it went nowhere.  I know he kept a book with all sorts of information that would have helped our case but there was no way to use the book.  no proof it existed and not enough evidence to warrant looking for it.  we waited too long to report.  I have chosen to not keep tabs on him, but I hope our failed report was enough to wake him up because he is well into adulthood now and in high school, he was well on track for rape.  I don't believe he would have stopped going in that direction if no one stopped him.  He knew he could get away with anything... he said so... before we reported him.  Although like I said, that went nowhere too so I've no clue how he took that.

 

Most rapists who get caught though... raped multiple times first.  I don't remember the exact statistic anymore, but since so many people are scared to speak up when its small like this 'john' character it gets worse until you get to the victim blaming and reliving the story over and over aspect of rape leading to even more lack of reporting.  You can't force your daughter to report john, but I strongly recommend you encourage her to do so.  Empower her to try and stop something.  She might convince enough friends if you can convince her and that might be enough to stop him before its worse than groping.

 

At any rate, I HAVE gay friends.  The only time they make the 'it's okay, I'm gay' joke is when they are going something our friends have already consented to... IE continuous joking... not random things they do out of nowhere even when told not to do it.  Being gay doesn't give you permission to grab boobs and unclasp bras.  Whether he is gay or just saying that to be funny/get away with it, I think trying to play off his behavior as okay because he is gay is an insult to other gay men who know better than to sexually harass people.  If nothing else, I'm offended that he'd use being gay as an excuse to hurt girls.

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#3 of 15 Old 04-11-2011, 09:13 PM
 
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Ugh... what a crappy situation! I have a serious problem with people who have such major boundary issues and don't take no for an answer! They make me nervous. I also think it's highly possible that the gay thing is a bogus excuse to try to get away with messing with these girls!... And even if he really is gay, that doesn't change the fact that he is assaulting girls by putting his hands on them when it is clearly not wanted!

 

Honestly, I don't really know what advice to give here! I personally think this kid needs to be reported before he goes WAY too far with someone and it progresses to full on rape! And if this were my daughter, I'd probably encourage her to take a self defense class and the next time he touches her he won't be getting his hand back intact!


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#4 of 15 Old 04-11-2011, 09:41 PM
 
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Gonna agree with treeoflife here. His behaviour needs to be reported. Like, now. He's already proven multiple times that he's not going to stop because someone has had a serious discussion with him. Talking more won't change anything, but the police showing up at his door because of his behaviour and arresting him might have that affect.

 

And really this kid needs to stop using "I'm gay" as an excuse. Who the hell cares? Gay, straight, or asexual, it gives you no right to violate the personal boundaries of others.irked.gif

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#5 of 15 Old 04-11-2011, 09:47 PM
 
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Is this at school? Or a club outside of school? If the principal will not hear your complaints and take action immediately ... then I would call the non-emergency police hotline and describe the situation and ask what legal recourse you have. This teen needs to be pulled back into line NOW! Don't let your daughter be a victim anymore. Ted Bundy was charming and talkative, too.
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#6 of 15 Old 04-12-2011, 07:17 AM
 
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I grew up in theatre and my kids are in theatre and yes, theatre kids are very physical but bra unhooking, grabbing private areas, kissing? Way, way, WAY outside of normal! My DD's best friend is gay and they hold hands and maybe put their arm around eachother once in awhile but it's very mutual and respectful. I was also confused as to where this is happening but wherever it is, it needs to be reported to whoever is in charge. If that doesn't turn it around immediatly, I'd press formal charges. You could go straight to formal charges but since his sister is your DD's best friend, I wasn't sure if you wanted to go that route first. Whatever you do, he needs a very clear message that what he's doing needs to stop.

 

Also, you might consider getting your DD into some self-defense classes. She's small and light but she does have "weapons" at her disposal. My kids took a course years ago and get a brush-up class once a year. they specifically teach how to not be a target, how to handle bullies and harrassment issues, how to fight off someone much larger using your size to your advantage, ect. My DD has found it very empowering and the confidence boost also makes her less of a target for this sort of thing.

 

This kid, it's likely more a power trip than a sex thing and honestly, that's even more dangerous in my book.


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#7 of 15 Old 04-12-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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My DH has plenty of stories about witnessing guys in high school act like that so he or one of his friends punched them hard and warned them never to do it again. Not that I advocate violence but it's a teen guy thing I guess, bringing others back into line that way.

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#8 of 15 Old 04-12-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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My best friend in hs reported a boy in our class for comments he would make to her that made her uncomfortable. It involved the disciplinary office (I don't know if every school has one or not) and I think the counselor as well. But it was taken quite seriously I remember and the kid got a bit shaken up. I really agree with your dd and her friends talking with someone in the school. It needs to stop and the consequences there might be enough to get teh meddage through to him without going the legal route. The theater director may also want to consider removing him from the group to drive home the fact that this is not ok.


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#9 of 15 Old 04-12-2011, 04:06 PM
 
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I agree, that sort of assault is not okay, regardless of his sexual orientation or whether they are in theatre. I definitely think it needs to be reported to the school's principal/AP. The kids don't usually know it unless they're called in for some reason, but my school has discreet video cameras throughout the campus where the principal can review video when things like this are brought up so her school might have something like that too that would back her up even further.
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#10 of 15 Old 04-12-2011, 06:23 PM
 
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Having been in theatre and the restaurant biz where sexual harassment and misconduct are the norm, I'd advise you to act now.

I hate  that this kind of behavior is still just part of the culture of theatre or anything else. I experienced so much ass grabbing,  boob rubbing and crude insinuations because it just "came with the job."

I felt humiliated, demeaned and objectified.

There was no other way to survive in these fields than to either ignore it  or embrace and play into it.

Step up. Stop it now. Find a theatre group for your DD that identifies and rejects this kind of behavior. 

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#11 of 15 Old 04-12-2011, 08:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiromamma View Post

Having been in theatre and the restaurant biz where sexual harassment and misconduct are the norm, I'd advise you to act now.

I hate  that this kind of behavior is still just part of the culture of theatre or anything else. I experienced so much ass grabbing,  boob rubbing and crude insinuations because it just "came with the job."

I felt humiliated, demeaned and objectified.

There was no other way to survive in these fields than to either ignore it  or embrace and play into it.

Step up. Stop it now. Find a theatre group for your DD that identifies and rejects this kind of behavior. 



 

What theatre did you work at? I spent 10 years in professional theatre as a Stage Manager from regional theatres to off-broadway houses across the nation. Part of my job was to make sure actors were well treated. Only twice  come across someone who behaved in that manner and he was dealt with by the staff and union. Both my kids do youth and professional theatre and it's one of the most positive environments they've been in. I by no means am saying it doesn't exist but I wouldn't say it's the norm or in anyway to be expected.

 


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#12 of 15 Old 04-13-2011, 06:20 PM
 
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Personally, if I were your daughter, I'd want to skip the school staff or other wannabe-authority-figures and go straight to law enforcement. Get her started on filing a police report.

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#13 of 15 Old 04-13-2011, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To clear it up: DD2 knows this boy both inside and out of theater. They are (were) friends due to DD2 being good friends with his older sister and being involved in an outside theater company as well as the theater inside of school. The current show is DDs last one at her high school before she graduates, so there will be no pulling DD out of anything. And to note, this is not just the actors being harassed. John is an actor but DD is stage manager and her friends are both actresses and techies. John has been staying away from her since the incident on Saturday and although her anger has cooled some, mine hasn't.

 

DD was waiting to talk to her father (criminal defense lawyer) about the situation before she officially decided to do anything. Dad said exactly what I said: get the school involved. A teacher. Go to the police. If someone is touching you its not harassment its officially moved on to assault and minor or not he could go to jail.

 

I think after this week (show week) she's going to get one of the three teachers the kids all really trust and respect involved. That way a teacher will know what is going on and it will be partially out of her hands. She's having some major issues with the possible repercussions towards because many kids like John. I'm being as encouraging as I can without yelling for her to do something before he does something more than touching - and let me tell you touching was more than enough.


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#14 of 15 Old 04-13-2011, 07:36 PM
 
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I understand you letting  your dd handle it your way & with her graduating & not having to deal with it at the end of the school year not wanting to rock boats.

 

however this boy will still be there doing this to the other kids after your dd is gone.  It is well beyond the time to have reported this to the school.  I'd be phoning the school myself & not waiting for my dd to talk to someone.

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#15 of 15 Old 04-14-2011, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koby58 View Post

To clear it up: DD2 knows this boy both inside and out of theater. They are (were) friends due to DD2 being good friends with his older sister and being involved in an outside theater company as well as the theater inside of school. The current show is DDs last one at her high school before she graduates, so there will be no pulling DD out of anything. And to note, this is not just the actors being harassed. John is an actor but DD is stage manager and her friends are both actresses and techies. John has been staying away from her since the incident on Saturday and although her anger has cooled some, mine hasn't.

 

DD was waiting to talk to her father (criminal defense lawyer) about the situation before she officially decided to do anything. Dad said exactly what I said: get the school involved. A teacher. Go to the police. If someone is touching you its not harassment its officially moved on to assault and minor or not he could go to jail.

 

I think after this week (show week) she's going to get one of the three teachers the kids all really trust and respect involved. That way a teacher will know what is going on and it will be partially out of her hands. She's having some major issues with the possible repercussions towards because many kids like John. I'm being as encouraging as I can without yelling for her to do something before he does something more than touching - and let me tell you touching was more than enough.

Your poor DD, what a tough situation to be in. Except, you have the power to help her see that it is not tough.

This guy has crossed some lines that should never be crossed, he can't undo what he has done and he should be held fully responsible for his disgusting behavior. Help her, show her that she should NEVER tolerate being victimized by someone like him. I used to put up with a lot from guys (I had very large boobs for my age and it drew a lot of negative attention from guys in school) and I tolerated it because I didn't know what to do. I do wish I had told my mom and had a couple of "incidents" handled by adults in authority positions (school or police or both) but I didn't. It took me a long time to develop the self confidence to know that the attention from those guys and how they behaved was so unacceptable I would not have been out of line to kick them as hard as I could in their nuts when it happened. Hell there was one incident where I could have called the police and had the creep arrested.

 

My point is this kid is doing things that are only going to escalate unless someone stops him, HARD. I would urge her to talk to the police. It isn't easy but honestly, if even a friend of mine had put his hands down my pants that would have been it. The next time that kid came near me I would have used every ounce of strength I had to pummel the @^#^ out of him. Also, I am shocked that her BF didn't react physically when this guy was touching her that way, I think my DH (we started dating at 18) would have landed that kid in the hospital and ended up arrested himself for nearly killing the guy (not good but not surprising)..

 

Goodluck mama, I feel so bad for your daughter, those kinds of guys in high school were the worst...It doesn't matter how long she has known him, the fact that he has ZERO respect for boundaries and the word NO is a big big issue. 
 

 

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