Utah woman shares story of middle school harassment and assault

Sep 24, 2018, 8:54 AM | Updated: 9:37 am
Follow @kslmrichards...

As we hear more news about accusations of sexual assault or harassment, one Utah college student hopes sharing her story will help other victims reach out, and perhaps prevent it from even happening in the first place.

Sabrina Dalanhese says when she was in 7th grade about 6 or 7 years ago, the boy sitting next to her in one of her classes her sexually harassed and assaulted her. He would say crude things, then reached over several times and touched her inappropriately.

“I thought it was a huge deal. No one has ever touched me like that, I was a little kid,” she said.

Her friends went with her to tell the teacher, but she says all she did was switch their seats.

“She didn’t take it as seriously as I thought, which made me think it was not as serious,” said Dalanhese.

But it affected her for years. She says there was another boy who would assault girls in the hallways by grabbing their breasts or slapping their rear ends. Girls would complain, she said, but they never saw anything done about it.

Dalanhese is now in college and realizes it was wrong. She is not coming forward to get anyone in trouble, but rather to spread awareness.

“It does happen, and if someone comes forward to tell you about it as a trusted adult, you should believe them, instead of letting them think they should just let it happen,” she said.

It did not happen in a school in the Granite School District, but their director of policy and legal services, Doug Larson, is weighing in.

“If kids have been sexually harassed or subjected to violence in some way or abuse in some way, they need to report it,” said Larson.

Reporting can happen through the SafeUT app, where anonymous texting lines are set up in many schools or by telling either a teacher, counselor, or school resource officer. If you are not taken seriously, go to an administrator.

Larson says as more reporting channels are now available, kids are feeling more comfortable with reporting, and they are investigating several cases district-wide.

“We take them seriously,” he said.

And they want to prevent sexual harassment, abuse or assault from even happening. Kids as young as kindergarten are taught about boundaries and respect, and the lessons build as the students get older.

But Larson says this is a much bigger issue than schools, and schools cannot tackle this alone. Larson says teaching kids boundaries and respect and proper behavior should be addressed in homes, in churches, and in other community groups.

Dalenheese agrees that it is part of a bigger conversation.

“If I had a daughter in middle school I would want to do something about it. So much happening in middle school we don’t know about,” she said. “The time I got asked for more nudes was middle school. They would say the worst stuff, do the worst things.”

She wishes she told her parents back then what happened to her.

“We are scared to tell them, but they love you and want the best for you,” she said.

“There are trusted adults, and schools will take it very seriously,” said Larson.

KSL reached out to the Rape Recovery Center and Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault for more insight and help for this story. The Rape Recovery Center declined to comment, and UCASA did not get back to us by the deadline.

Today’s Top Stories


On Friday, fire officials managing the Left Fork Fire announced residents of Bryce Woodlands Estate...
Mark Jones

Bryce Woodlands Estate residents allowed to return home in Kane County

Kane County emergency personnel, overseeing the Left Fork Fire, announced Friday residents of Bryce Woodlands Estate will be allowed to return home Saturday.
23 hours ago
marriage Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen firearm codify...
Mark Jones

With Roe v. Wade now overturned, could same-sex marriage be next?

Many people are wondering what precedents the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on next, possibly same-sex marriage. Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen says the court could do so it wishes.
23 hours ago
A row of fighter jets belonging to the Thunderbirds are pictured at the Air and Space show in Layto...
Dan Bammes and Samantha Herrera

Hill Air Force Base’s Air and Space show bringing STEM to kids

The 2022 Warriors Over The Wasatch Air and Space Show begins June 25 at Hill Air Force Base and will have a STEM-focused attraction.
23 hours ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Mark Jones

S.B. 174 now in effect in Utah with Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade

With the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Utah trigger law, known as S.B. 174 is now in effect in the state.
23 hours ago
Protesters hold signs and chant at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 24, 2022, as ...
Curt Gresseth

Utah women’s reproductive-health doctor weighs in on Roe v. Wade ruling

A Salt Lake City doctor who specializes in women's reproductive health care weighs in on the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
23 hours ago
USU Aviation The Utah State University Utah Women & Leadership Project (UWLP) created a series of r...
Michele Rowe

Flight instructor, student, die in crash of USU Aviation plane

Officials said a teacher and student affiliated with USU aviation were killed in a plane crash near Wellsville.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Utah woman shares story of middle school harassment and assault