When I was teenager I played for a band from the city I lived. There was a girl who, one day, confessed to her parents, that a man from the band tried to touch her. The man in question was very dear to everyone and actually had his two daughters also playing on the band.
This girl’s parents went to the administration and presented a complaint. The police came and questioned him, his family and some of the people who were on the band.
The news travelled to my parents who asked me whether I had seen something. I didn’t actually. My mother looked strangely at me, trying to get the courage to ask me if something happened to me, but my father interrupts this moment and says that I am very upfront, so if anything had happened I would have stand up for myself and put him in his place.
I stayed silent.
The man left the band but no charges were pressed. The girl left as well, became very depressed, started dropping out of school. No one believed her and because she was seen as very strange, no one wanted to be friends with her. The few friends she had did not stick by her. I heard that she had to have therapy and it was actually working.
Two years later, she was able to go to university. I haven’t heard anything from her since.
This is what I actually wanted to say at the time:
I do believe you, even though I didn’t see anything. That man used to try it with every girl there. We used to hate sitting next to him. He tried it with me as well.
I didn’t realize at the time, that this would have been everything to her. I was shaken with the whole events but her own world changed on that day and no one had the courage to stand up for her.
I like to think that if the police had actually questioned me I would have said the truth. I’m not sure… I didn’t want to destroy the image that my father had of me. It was so much better than the truth.