This Is Exactly Why A 15-Year-Old Wouldn't Report Her Sexual Assault

by Hollye Dexter
Originally Published: 
LEFT: Hollye Dexter; RIGHT: Donald Trump/Twitter

I can’t contain it any longer. The idiot President’s tweet on September 21 pushed me over the edge. Want to know why a 15-year-old girl wouldn’t report an attempted rape?

From my own experience, here’s why.

Three years old: I was abducted by two older boys and locked in their apartment. I can’t tell you what they did to me because all my mind can see is darkness. My young mind tricked me into thinking I had passed out. Maybe I did. When my mom and stepfather found me, my stepfather lifted me in the air by one arm and wailed on my behind, shouting at me that I was bad for disappearing like that. I did not have the language to explain what had happened to me or to defend myself. I learned then that it was my fault if something horrible happened to me.

Eight years old: Standing on a corner with my friends, a man pulled his car up to the curb in front of us. He was naked and masturbating. I told my mother, but there was nothing we could do. The man drove away to terrorize other little girls. I learned then that men can do things to terrorize little girls and they will get away with it.

Twelve years old: Walking home from school, my friends and I were on the railroad bridge when a man stepped in front of us, dropped his pants and started masturbating. We were trapped and terrified. We ran back across the bridge, away from our homes, and couldn’t get home for hours because we were afraid to cross the bridge. When we finally did get home, my mother called the police, who were not able to do anything because the man was long gone. My mom’s friend Susan told me, “Next time a guy drops his pants in front of you, just laugh at him. That’s what my sister does.” Then Susan gave me half a valium and told me it would be fine. I learned then that men would drop their pants in front of you and it was up to you to learn how to handle it.

Thirteen years old: I was at a sleepover at my friend L’s house. I woke in the middle of the night to her 6’ 2” sixteen-year-old brother ripping my pants off. He picked me up and carried me into his room and laid me down on his desk. I jumped up and ran. He chased after me and threatened me, but I got out. I ran all the way home in the middle of the night. My mother woke to me pounding on the front door. She called Laura’s mother and told her, and that was the end of it. The brother never suffered any consequence for attempting to rape a child. I learned then that you can tell but nothing will happen to the perpetrator, so you better learn how to protect yourself.

That was also the end of my friendship with L. She was too ashamed to face me after that. I learned then that if you speak up you will lose friends.

Thirteen years old: My mom’s boyfriend’s brother Bobby Abbondante, who babysat me only the year before, said he’d take me to a movie I really wanted to see. At the drive-in movie, he attacked me, ripping my shirt open, biting me, aggressively grabbing my breasts, hurting me, leaving bruises and hickeys all over me as I fought and screamed. After, he cried and begged me not to tell. This was the year The Wilderness Family had come out. He had made a bet with his friends that he could “nail” a movie star. I learned then that as a female, I had no value — I was just a bet, something to be “nailed.”

When the #MeToo movement began, I started to think about all the ugly things that had happened to me over my life, things I had tried to suppress in my memory. Feeling overwhelmed with rage, I wrote them down, just to finally get it out of my head and my soul, and I realized that there had been more than 20 incidences over my lifetime, some of them worse than the ones above. Every incident made me feel small and worthless and ashamed, helpless and stupid.

I internalized the rage against myself other than at the perpetrator. There had been times I had spoken up and asked for help, and all it seemed to do was blow up in my face. The perpetrator never, ever suffered any consequence, but I would definitely suffer consequences, so what was the point of speaking up?

I spent many years working with teens in the foster care system. At least half of the girls were in foster care because of being raped or molested by family members. When the girls finally had the courage to tell someone, their entire families turned against them. Their mothers blamed them for the seduction of the man, kicked them out of the house. I saw this happen again and again. So why should they tell? They lose their whole family and end up in foster care.

I have friends who never reported rapes. I have friends who did report rape and were re-victimized by a system that tried to make her look like the harlot who was asking for it.


This is not a pity post. I’m a badass warrior now so please don’t post comments feeling bad for me, leave me a comment telling me that you’ll vote in November. I know that the majority of you reading this have experienced the same or worse. Let’s stand together, strong in our solidarity. Fuck Donald Trump and the whole GOP and alt-right nationalist misogynist movement. Every one of those pasty old white fuckers needs to be brought down.

Don’t be sad — #VOTE #SmashThePatriarchy

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