“Dylan”* was a junior in high school and enjoyed spending time with friends, playing on the soccer team, and acting in school plays. Dylan started dating “Jamie,” a classmate, as a sophomore, but they broke up during the summer when Dylan started to feel uncomfortable in their relationship. Jamie became angry and started harassing Dylan by calling, texting, posting and messaging on social media, and showing up in Dylan’s work parking lot. Two months into their junior year of high school, Jamie raped Dylan in the school's stairwell.
Dylan's grades declined. Seeing the rapist at school every day and trying to act “normal” had a significant emotional impact, and Dylan became depressed. Dylan stopped attending school, avoided friends, quit the soccer team, and started cutting. In desperate need of help, Dylan called a local rape crisis center, and was referred to the VRLC.
A VRLC attorney stood by Dylan’s side to prevent any encounters with the perpetrator in school. We helped Dylan secure a protection order against Jamie, represented Dylan in a hearing to protect all mental health and school records, and advised through the criminal process. Ultimately, Jamie was found guilty and sentenced to probation. Having a free attorney who believed and advocated for Dylan was critical. Dylan's grades improved, the cutting stopped, and Dylan rejoined the soccer team on the field.
*Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of VRLC clients.