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.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah

A woman found unresponsive by police in Box Elder Creek was pronounced dead at a hospital on Tuesda...

Simone Seikaly

Woman found unresponsive in Box Elder Creek pronounced dead

Brigham City police were investigating a possible missing person when they said they found a body in Box Elder Creek

12 hours ago

FILE: Spectators watch as the Artemis I uncrewed lunar rocket lifts off at NASA's Kennedy Space Cen...

Don Brinkerhoff

Utah company completes solid rocket boosters for NASA’s Artemis

Northrup Grumman says the Arrtemis rocket boosters can carry nearly five metric tons more than the previous boosters. 

12 hours ago

The new West Davis Highway in Davis County on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024. The new 16-mile, four-lane divi...

Tim Vandenack

West Davis Highway gets high marks after 7 weeks; noise still an issue for some

The new 16-mile corridor is a divided, four-lane, limited-access roadway meant in part to ease congestion along I-15.

13 hours ago

FILE: Vietnam War veterans gather for a photograph following a ceremony to recognize and honor Viet...

Eric Cabrera

Veterans can soon sign up for the largest-ever expansion of VA health benefits

On March 5, vets who served in a combat zone, beginning with the Vietnam war, can directly enroll in VA healthcare.

15 hours ago

Utah's avalanche danger has been dangerous for the last week, with the Utah Avalanche Center report...

MICHAEL HOUCK, KSL-TV

Skier severely injured following avalanche near Little Water Peak

A skier was injured after being caught in an avalanche on Monday Feb. 26. The skier was hoisted to safety.

21 hours ago

Liver and kidney transplant patient Luis Campos says he's grateful he had a Spanish-speaking team....

Eric Cabrera

Murray kidney clinic helping the Latino community

MURRAY, Utah — Intermountain Health has taken steps to address healthcare in Latino communities by opening Utah’s first fully Spanish-speaking Kidney Transplant Clinic. The Intermountain Clinica Hispana de Riñon (Hispanic Kidney Clinic), in Murray, aims to provide a space for members of the Latino community navigating the complex kidney transplant process. The clinic has bilingual professionals, […]

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Utah woman shares story of middle school harassment and assault