A teenage girl who was raped by a fellow student was given a shockingly vicious nickname at her high school after the allegations surfaced, even allowing the assailant back into the classroom.
The girl, known as Rachel, attended a school west of Sydney and was referred to as “the girl who lies about rape” by friends of her rapist.
After the incident, she was also harassed by her attacker’s younger sister, who would follow her to the school toilets.
The rapist was also allowed to return to the same school as his victim after he was released on bail.
Last month, he was given a minimum sentence of just two months in prison, but was granted bail within two hours of his appeal.
Neither he nor his victim can be named for legal reasons.
Rachel (pictured) was raped by a classmate who was allowed to go to the same school even after being charged
On Thursday night, Rachel told Channel 10’s The project the hair experience’ has been terrible. I don’t recognize myself at all and I haven’t for a very, very long time.’
Her father, who cannot be named either, said:[He] destroyed my daughter. He may have changed her for life.”
Rachel and her attacker were both 16 when they went to a party three years ago.
“I was so drunk that I wasn’t even remotely myself,” she said. ‘I started pushing away.
“I said no and kicked him away and then it all started, and it took over two hours for him to rape and suffocate me. I had never had sex.
“Not that this was sex. And I just remember it was so terrifying,” she said.
It took nearly a year for Rachel to find the strength to tell a teacher that she had been raped by a classmate.
She broke the memory when she said she “didn’t tell my parents because I knew it would break their hearts.
“So I spoke to the deputy director and she told me about it.”
Some boys at school started talking about wanting to rape girls and a teacher. Pictured is a stock photo of a classroom
Her father said disturbingly that he knew exactly who had raped his daughter “because I warned the director and that director failed to take action.”
“Four days after we warned that he was a threat to girls at school, he raped our daughter,” he explained.
Months before the attack, a group of boys in Rachel’s year began threatening sexual assault against girls and a school teacher.
Concerned about what might happen, Rachel and some other girls reported the boys to senior staff in writing.
But she said a teacher who spoke to the boys said, ‘Boys will be boys, these things happen’. “It all felt so small how scared we all were.”
The police went to the school to talk to the young men in question, but the leader was absent that day.
The girls specifically named that boy because he was the one they were most afraid of.
He was eventually charged with six counts of assault and one of suffocation without consent.
Despite the charges against him, he was allowed to return to the same school.
Rachel’s father was shocked.
‘I had assumed that if you are charged multiple times for sexual abuse, you cannot return to the same school as the victim. I was completely wrong,” he said.
The boy’s parents later moved him to another school.
“We were told he didn’t have to tell the new school that he was suspected of aggravated rape,” Rachel’s father said.
He added that the new school is “legally not allowed to know.” This is part of the law that absolutely must change.’
Although her attacker was gone, Rachel continued to harass.
“There were people who nicknamed me ‘The Girl Who Lies About Rape’ because they were friends of his,” she said.
Rachel said her father is “an absolute hero through it all.” In the picture you can see Rachel and her father walking through bushland
“I was harassed by the little sister after he was arrested, where she would follow me to the bathroom.”
The school told Rachel’s father to consider issuing a warrant for the girl’s arrest.
“And yet this happens on school grounds and the principal has not protected her at all from the rapist’s sister,” he said.
Questioned at a 2020 NSW Parliament hearing on the matter, the State Education Secretary Sarah Mitchell said: ‘That allegation in terms of sexual assault did not occur on the school grounds.
“But I certainly appreciate how hard it must have been for the victim to be at school with her—with the perpetrator.”
Two years later, Ms Mitchell has finally asked the department to look at better support for crime victims who attend the same school as their attackers.
But Georgina Harrisson, secretary of the NSW’s Department of Education, said: ‘We have to balance the rights of both students in this.
“When these incidents do occur, they are invariably very well managed locally within the school context,” she said.
Mrs. Harrisson’s words angered Rachel’s father. ‘Taurus****, absolute bull****. The school’s initial response was to protect the school’s reputation. Protecting our daughter came second,” he said.
He said the Ministry of Education is refusing to tell him what they have investigated and “they will not tell us if anyone in the school has suffered any consequences for their failure to protect our daughter.”
Last month the NSW Children’s Court in Parramatta (pictured) found the teen guilty and sentenced him to nine months in prison with a minimum term of just two months
Rachel said she is sure other girls at her school were also raped.
‘I have no doubts about that. There are at least five to eight other women who have been through what I’ve been through,” she said.
“I have friends who have said to me very lovingly, ‘after seeing what you’ve been through, I would never do it, it’s not worth it’.”
It’s appalling that Rachel said she’s “experienced so much victim guilt.” I’ve heard a lot of people say, “But you chose to drink that night,” as if that means drinking at a party inherently means you deserve to be raped.”
Last month, the NSW Children’s Court in Parramatta found the teen guilty and sentenced him to nine months in prison with a minimum term of just two months.
But within hours, he was out on bail.
Rachel said the trial made her feel like I was raped by the system all over again.
“I think it sends a message to every other rapist and predator out there: ‘I can do this and I’ll get a slap on the wrist.'”
Rachel (pictured) wants to see change so others don’t have to go through what she has
Rachel considers taking legal action against the education department and the school, but most of all she wants to see change so that others don’t have to go through what she has.
“I have an incredible little sister who is one of my best friends who I do this for the most, I just want to make things safer for her and make it better than what it was for me,” she said.
Her father collapsed when asked how he is doing. ‘I’m not doing well. It has been very difficult because I want justice for my daughter,” he said.
“We’re blocked at every turn. All our questions are unanswered and I will keep fighting until I get those answers.”
Rachel said her father was a rock for her.
“My father has been an absolute hero through it all. He has absolutely turned his life upside down to take care of me and has definitely saved my life more times than I think he will ever know.”
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