Trusting Someone Enough To Fall Asleep In Their Presence Is Not Consent

Warning: This is a rant and is sure to contain foul language and strong opinions. Also, I changed the names to protect some young people’s privacy.

My fourteen year old daughter, who is an eighth grader got in the car today after school and immediate informed me “There is major drama going on in the school today.”

Assuming she meant typical teenager stuff I got ready to half listen. No offense to her but sometimes hearing about who is dating who, which friends got in a fight, and who she’s mad at aren’t really the funnest things to talk about. I do however like that she Does talk to me so I got prepared.

“There’s a girl names Kate who…”

As her story unfolded I went through many emotions and I want to apologize now for anything offensive or irrational that I say from this point on. She explained that Kate had a bunch of friends, male and female, over recently and they all stayed really late. Kate fell asleep on the floor in her living room and everyone left. A few minutes later one of the boys, Jacob, came back to get his phone charger.

The story gets a little hazy here. Something happened. Exactly what is not clear. What is known is Kate was asleep. Jacob touched her. She didn’t respond. He left. Later he sent a text to her apologizing for touching her. Today at school he told one of his friends what he had done. The friend got really angry and told everyone he knew. When people asked Kate what happened she said “I don’t know, ask Jacob.” When they asked Jacob, he didn’t really say anything.

The “drama” is that half the school is on Kate’s side and the other is on Jacobs. Some say that there is no way Kate wouldn’t have woken up and if she woke up and didn’t want it, she could have stopped him.

My daughter seemed confused so I laid it out for her. If Kate was asleep and this kid was putting his hand up her shorts to touch her, that is sexual assault. It doesn’t matter if she woke up. The fact is, no matter how this girl responded to it, the guy knew she was asleep when he started this, that’s rape. If you’re asleep, you can’t say yes or no, so the no should be assumed.

If she felt it why wouldn’t she have stopped him? What the hell was she supposed to do? She was deep asleep when this happened. She might have thought she was dreaming, she might have been scared, probably confused.

My daughter says the ‘whole school’ doesn’t understand why she won’t talk about it. WHAT? First of off the ‘whole school’ can piss off. No one gets to tell Kate how she should be reacting. She could be embarrassed, hurt, terrified, confused, angry, any number of things and it’s not for anyone else to assign a feeling or attitude to her. She may not be handling it well, but SHE’S the one that has to deal with it.

This all became such a big deal today that someone finally told a teacher and my kid told me she saw Kate and her mother going into the school (a few minutes before I got there), and the mom looked really angry.

For clarity, Jacob has basically admitted to doing this on Twitter of all places, repeatedly. He’s gone on and on about how he thinks a devil is in him and how everyone makes mistakes and people should stop judging him. He’s bitched about all his friends deserting him and he’s threatened suicide. Now I don’t want this kid to kill himself but the little bastard needs to stop acting like he’s the victim.

I spent the entire car ride home explaining what sexual assault is. I told my daughter that just because Jacob stopped, that doesn’t mean an assault didn’t happen. Just because he now feels bad doesn’t mean it’s okay. Just because he lost all his friends doesn’t mean anyone should feel sorry for him. Just because he Twitter threatened suicide doesn’t mean Kate wasn’t violated. Just because some of the kids on the school don’t think it’s a big deal doesn’t mean they are right.

I’m pretty sure that my daughter felt sorry for Jacob, at least a little until the Twitter thing. That’s part of what’s got me so worked up. Obviously I’m concerned about the girl and I’m glad it wasn’t worse but for me personally, this is a huge thing I need to make my kid understand. She seemed to think it was just drama and a crazy situation. She didn’t take it as seriously as she should have. By the end of our drive she asked me if the boy could end up going to jail. It’s scary as hell to know that serious consequences never occurred to her. That this is a big deal, beyond school drama, never crossed her mind. I guess she didn’t truly believe the guy did something so bad. What if she was the one asleep on the floor? Would she have just let him do what he wanted because she didn’t know how to handle it? I guarantee you after our talk she knows what to do!

Now for anyone that wants to jump on my case, I know there is at least some small chance that Kate isn’t telling the whole truth. I advised my kid to reserve judgement until she knew the facts. I believed that was the best course of action until I saw Jacobs Twitter account, and his admissions.

All parents need to sit down with their kids and have a frank conversation about sex, sexual assault, sexual harassment, boundaries, limits, and what to do if they find themselves in a bad situation. Maybe don’t use as many curse words as I think I did in our talk.

I apologize again for the language, but not for the opinions.

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13 comments

  1. Good for you! I’m totally with you on this. There is NOTHING okay about this situation and it IS a BIG DEAL. I have two daughters and a son and as they get older I will be all over this issue to make sure they know it is serious and isn’t something that should just blow over. That boy sexually assaulted her. Period.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That is a really, really, really unfortunate situation. That something like that could happen in 8th grade is pretty scary. Good for Kate for being strong enough to still come to school after all that. I know it isn’t what you want to hear, but kudos to ‘Jacob’ for admitting what he did and apologizing, especially if it seemed like ‘Kate’ didn’t know. That takes some real character, too. The whole thing is really disturbing, and I hope both parties find a way to overcome such a bad situation. Sorry to hear.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. After rereading my post, I don’t want to sound like I’m not fully against the boy. He did the right thing AFTERWARDS, but his actions were awful. He still did commit a crime and may go to jail. The whole matter is really bad.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely agree with you… But I’m sure you could have guessed that!

    This story makes me wonder if the boy made it up to try to look cool, and it backfired when his friends were like, “Dude, that’s messed up.” Especially if Kate doesn’t remember it.

    Still, wtf. x.x

    I think you handled it exactly as you should. These things should not be ignored. They should definitely be taken seriously, no matter what the truth is behind it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing. I know that’s not a conversation you wanted to have, but it’s also a good reminder of something we need to talk about with our sons and daughters for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thought provoking post, Kirsti

    I realise now that this is a conversation I never had with my own sons. I suppose it is the same for most of us parents. A bit late for me now that they’ve presented me with grand kids!

    And of course, as you say yourself, it was only after this conversation that you had a talk with your daughter about boundaries.

    The story itself is odd and we can’t dismiss the idea that this might not have even happened. Particularly after his odd ramblings on Twitter of all places. The boy certainly sounds like he has some behavioural issues.

    Let’s hope his parents have “the talk” with him now.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am in absolute agreement with you on this. I think the lack of communication about sex from parents to kids is part of the reason why these sort of things happen. They aren’t always told what’s right and wrong, and how serious violations can be.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s worrying that issues of consent are something we have to address at all, but sadly it seems to be the case that it should probably go hand in hand with discussions of sex, especially seeing as there are a lot of confusing messages in the media. It’s the double standards here that are also shocking. In a school I teach at there was an incident related to the filming of consensual sex which got leaked onto the internet. The girl missed a month of school because of the way she was treated. The boy received no such abuse.

    Like

  8. Oh man, that is so unbelievably NOT OKAY. First of all, kudos to you for having a daughter that age who opens up enough with you to talk about stuff like that and listens as you explain. I have a 5 year old son, so I’m not to that level of worry yet, but you can bet your boots I’ll be laying down the law with him about girls and sexuality when he’s old enough to get it.

    Liked by 1 person

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