UTAH

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

Utah

Apartments for rent in Sugar House on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)...
Kate Davis, Amie Schaeffer

Utah rental prices continue to soar

The cost of renting has skyrocketed in Utah. The price to rent in the state increased more in the past two years more over the two last years than they did in the decade prior.
14 hours ago
A Bluffdale crash between that involved a semi-truck left one person dead on Monday, Sept. 26.  (St...
Amie Schaeffer

Bluffdale crash involving semi-truck kills one

One person has died in an accident in Bluffdale. The crash involved a semi-truck and happened early Monday morning.
14 hours ago
fall weather utah...
Devin Oldroyd

Man in extremely critical condition following motorcycle accident in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Witnesses report a man in his 20s was driving a motorcycle very fast up the canyon. Following this, he lost control of the vehicle and crashed.
2 days ago
South Salt Lake Police Department...
Devin Oldroyd

Double stabbing sends grandmother and grandson to the hospital

A double stabbing in South Salt Lake has sent a grandmother and her grandson to the hospital. It is not clear at this time how the incident began.
2 days ago
Vernon crash...
Devin Oldroyd

Crash in Vernon closes Highway 36

A crash on Highway 36 in Vernon has closed both lanes of the roadway. According to Utah Highway Patrol, the crash occurred near Mile Post 19.
2 days ago
Milcreek hoist...
Devin Oldroyd

Paragliding crash in Milcreek leaves one in critical condition

Unified Fire Authority hoisted the paraglider off Grandeur Peak mountain Sunday. They have been transported to the University of Utah Hospital.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
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.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
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.
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?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Utah woman shares story of middle school harassment and assault