As a part of a college trip, my classmates and I travelled to a small town. On my way back, I was required to sit next to a 45 year old man on the bus, as there was no other available seat. Despite my uneasiness of the situation, I sat with him. Throughout the night, many a time, I felt his hands on my breast and on my thighs, sometimes his fingers creeping around in between them. I thought that I might have been dreaming as I was drifting in and out of sleep, but unfortunately he kept doing whatever he did despite my protesting. I even cried for help, but my classmates did nothing to get involved, citing the fact that they were "sleeping" and did not hear me. I took the molester to the police station, and due to their incompetence, he got away.
In a fit of immaturity, my classmates spread a rumor that I had made up the whole molestation in a bid to get attention. That broke my trust and now am finding it difficult to adjust to college life. People talk behind my back about the situation, and mock me. I feel heartbroken because I had considered them to be my friends, and now find myself to be lonely and dare I say, suicidal.
I feel deeply disturbed and scared of peoples reactions. Although I do not feel the need to justify, people who weren't involved demand for one.
Sometimes I dont even know what to do about it, it makes me depressed and so upset to the extent that it is disturbing my way of thinking and even more so my education. I have three more years at my University, and am not sure if I'd be able to tolerate it any longer. Please help me.
Ree, Good for you to stand up for yourself and make the situation known to authorities, even if nothing was done to prosecute him.
You are of an age where your classmates are still in that immature socially-conscious chatty stage where your "status" is more important than your recognized trauma. There is little that you can do about their petty gossiping behaviors, but you can do something for yourself to resolve the traumatic memories of the incident.
Take time to learn about the EFT (emotional freedom technique) process available on-line and through practitioners around the world. Sites like:
are all valuable resources for learning this acupressure based "tapping" technique that has been widely recognized as a valuable healing resource for over 30 years.
The more you allow the situation to affect you, the more your peers will poke fun at you for it. Once you have declared yourself to be "over it" in your mind, the quicker you can focus on what's important; your education. Your tormentors will become disinterested in actively pursuing their petty opinions of what happened and how you handled it.
Obviously, sexual assault is a worldwide crime and we read a lot about how many women are affected in your country specifically. Standing up for yourself is a strong, positive trait, so don't let the inaction of the locals to over-ride your instincts to be an active supporter of women's right to privacy and self-assertion of their rights as a human being to be left alone in all situations such as this.
Follow-through with your education, no matter what the opinions of others may be. You are in a small window of time where you can take advantage of the opportunity to gain the most important tools you can possess, a quality education to make the most of your inborn traits and interests, so you can go out an make a difference in the world.