A few vocal individuals have stated that a fellow survivor, who shared what Jim Hawkins did to her in another post, was the only victim. To dispel the notion that there is only one victim, I have decided to also share a small part of what he did to me. I hope that by sharing, more victims of abuse who have felt reluctant to contact us are inspired to do so. Hawkins hurt girls in different ways, and perhaps you will recognize something in my story that frees you to come forward and share your story with us. We promise to keep your identity and story confidential, and that we will give you the emotional support you deserve.
Although I myself did not end up getting physically raped by Hawkins, Hawkins engaged in inappropriate physical conduct with me and I feel I was emotionally raped.
I was a junior high school student in the 1970’s at NIS. Jim Hawkins was my science teacher and basketball coach. His inappropriate conduct toward me left me in confusion and in emotional pain.
Before he started to interact with me in inappropriate ways, Jim Hawkins was my favorite teacher. He attended to my emotional needs at all times, it seemed. Whether it was relationship issues with my friends, or my family, he seemed to be aware of my emotional ups and downs at all times and would spend as much time as I needed after school to help me sort out my problems I had as a junior high school student.
At the beginning of 9th grade, when I began to feel very confused. I had regularly babysat for his children until one day, he started to ask me to come to school on weekends to help him clean the science lab. After we had finished, he would become intimate with me in the hallways of the junior high floor where there was nobody. He would hold my shoulders with his hands, stare deep into my eyes and kiss me slowly and sensuously on my forehead. One day, while he was driving me home in his car (“Blimp”), he started to sound nervous. Here’s is passage straight out of my journal from those years:
[Hawkins said:] “…Would you promise you would keep this to yourself and not tell anyone? … The way you are with me makes me feel like you’re my girlfriend and more than this, you seem like you’re my wife or you even seem like a god to me. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I think I wake up just because of you…”
After he had told me this, I felt confused and awkward being around him and tried to avoid him. The more I avoided him, the more he seemed to try to reach out to me. During dance parties, he would often ask me to slow dance with him. He would rub my hand with one hand and would play with my bra strap on my back. He also gave me a Christmas present (hand-made Puka shell bracelet) which made me feel very uncomfortable. Toward the end of December, a month after he had made the “confession”, he asked me to help him clean up the science lab on a Saturday and told me to come over to school at 10:30am. Reluctant to go, I arrived at school around noon. I felt I had no choice but to go — he was my science teacher and my basketball coach. When I arrived, the science lab had already been cleaned and Hawkins asked me to accompany him to go shopping to Asakusa instead. On the way, while in his vehicle (the “Blimp”), Hawkins rubbed and held my hand and brought up the confession he had made a month ago. He asked me how I had felt about his “confession” and I told him “it’s been bothering me”. He then said the following:
“I’ll say it in a stupid, dumb and the craziest way but… I’m in love with you and I don’t know what to do about it…what would you have done if I had kissed you (on the mouth) this morning? …That was what I was going to do but you were late…” I remember my body cringing from what he was telling me. I told him I would have felt very uncomfortable if he had kissed me.
Shortly after that, during our ski trip to Zao, Hawkins tried to spend time alone with me. He would ask me to meet him on the upper floor of the hotel where we were staying. There he would try to become intimate with me, hugging me and kissing me sensuously on the forehead. Or, he would tell me to come out secretly to the hallway while the students were asleep so we could have a chat which turned out to be hugs and kisses.
By this time, I had felt uncomfortable about how Hawkins was behaving so I had told several of my classmates and another NIS teacher about the incidents. At the ski trip my friend accompanied me to where Hawkins had told me to be, as a way to prevent me from being with Hawkins alone. My classmates who I confessed my stories to helped me a lot. They cared for me with a lot of empathy and made me feel I wasn’t alone but they couldn’t stop him from making inappropriate advances toward me. The teacher I had gone to for help never gave me specific advice on what to do, and nothing changed. I continued to struggle to find a way to deal with Hawkins so my rejections would not anger him.
One day after school, while I was out on the playground (alone) waiting for a friend, Hawkins came over to my side. After a casual conversation, he started talking about the surgery he had recently gone through. I knew he had had some kind of operation since he had been limping and had told the class it was a surgery on his abdomen and that it was nothing serious. He told me the explanation he had told the class was not true. He said the surgery was a vasectomy. I had no idea what that was. When I innocently asked him what a vasectomy was, he said:
“[My wife] and I still want to enjoy having sex but we don’t want to have any more babies so I decided to get the surgery…”
I barely knew what sex was and being told about a teacher’s sex life felt gravely inappropriate. More than anything else, I was shocked and confused. And he explained things in a way that sounded like he was indirectly suggesting me to have sex with him.
At my mother’s strong insistence, I spent the summer at Kazuno (camp) as a counselor. My mother having no idea what was going on between Hawkins and me, thought he was the ideal teacher and father figure for me, and that spending time with him would have a good influence on me. One night after the campers and the counselors had gone to bed, he took me out on a walk saying he had something important to tell me. He told me there were some who knew the things he had been telling and doing to me, including the school. He told me the principal may be in contact with me to ask questions about us. I panicked and cried and ran away from him as fast as I could. I remember my shoe coming off. Hawkins panicked seeing me panic and came running after me. I was scared because I thought what had happened between me and Hawkins would go public and everybody would find out including my mother. I thought Hawkins was “accusing” me for letting the stories out since he had repeatedly reminded me that I shouldn’t let anyone know about what he did and said to me.
This is just part of my story; there are others. Although I wasn’t physically raped I feel I have been emotionally raped. Having found other survivors and sharing our experiences has been a very therapeutic process for me. At the same time the process of finding out that I was not the only one and getting a clear picture that Hawkins was a serial predator has given me the courage to share my experience in hope to encourage other potential victims to benefit from a similar healing process that I have gone through.
Stay strong, dear girl, and God bless you!
Thank you for being so brave.