Imagine receiving a phone call at work, telling you that there’s been an incident involving your daughter at school. As an emergency room nurse, you can’t have your phone with you, but this call was different. It was urgent.

After rushing to the school, you find yourself in the principal’s office, surrounded by teachers, administrators, and the parents of the other student involved. The atmosphere is tense, as if blaming your daughter is the priority.

But you won’t stand for it. You won’t let your daughter be bullied or dismissed. You won’t let them downplay the seriousness of what happened. And most importantly, you won’t let them forget that she defended herself.

You listen intently as they tell their side of the story. Your daughter’s bra was snapped by a boy at school, and she reacted by punching him. It seems like they are more angry at her for defending herself than they are at the boy for his inappropriate behavior.

But you won’t back down. You firmly ask if they are going to press charges for the boy’s sexual assault on your daughter. And against the school, for allowing it to happen. The room becomes uneasy, as they try to downplay the severity of the situation and speak over each other.

You turn to your daughter, wanting to hear her side of the story. She explains how the boy repeatedly snapped her bra despite her asking him to stop. She sought help from her teacher, who told her to “ignore it.” But when he did it again and undid her bra, she couldn’t take it anymore and defended herself.

You direct your attention back to the teacher. You challenge them to understand the gravity of the situation by asking them to imagine someone inappropriately touching them. You highlight how unacceptable it is, regardless of age.

The principal tries to argue that your daughter still resorted to violence, but you won’t let him dismiss the fact that she was defending herself from a sexual attack. You emphasize the drastic difference in size and strength between the two students, making it clear that she had no choice but to fight back.

Finally, you make your decision. You gather your daughter’s things and inform the school that you will be reporting the incident to the administrators. You warn the boy, making it crystal clear that if he ever touches your daughter again, you will not hesitate to have him arrested for sexual assault.

Leaving the office in disgust, you carry your daughter with you. A new class arrangement is made to ensure her safety and well-being, away from both the boy and the teacher who failed to protect her.

You take a deep breath, knowing that you did everything in your power to defend your daughter and to raise awareness about such unacceptable behavior. You vow to keep fighting to ensure that no other girl at that school experiences the same mistreatment.