Survivor Story #3: I Am Also One of Mr. Hawkins’ Victims
I come from a long family line of Nishimachi students. And my family placed its complete trust in the school.
While I was not groomed by Mr. Hawkins, was not raped, nor did I have a sexual relationship with him, I am also one of his victims.
When I was in 7th grade, Mr. Hawkins was my science teacher, my basketball coach, and my swim teacher. It was during this school year that Mr. Hawkins touched me inappropriately on two separate occasions.
The first time was when we were having basketball practice out on Nishimachi’s asphalt playground. I had the ball and Mr. Hawkins somehow reached under me and groped me repeatedly and forcefully, all over my body. From between my legs he touched my privates. This was in front of everyone. Even as a child, I instinctually knew that this was wrong. I stopped playing and asked what he was doing. He casually replied that this type of touching could happen during a game, and as long as I had the ball, I needed to be ready for it. I felt ashamed, violated, humiliated, embarrassed, confused and afraid.
The second occasion when Mr. Hawkins touched me inappropriately was during one of Nishimachi’s Friday gym classes to Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium for a swimming class. Mr. Hawkins was teaching us ‘Life Saving’ and that day’s lesson was to “save the drowning victim.” Mr. Hawkins was in the pool, pretending to be the drowning victim. One by one, each student had to dive into the pool and save him.
When it was my turn to “save” Mr. Hawkins, he took advantage of the simulation and groped me all over my body. Once again Mr. Hawkins touched my privates. And once again, I felt ashamed, violated, humiliated, embarrassed, confused and afraid.
I was 12 years old.
He was my teacher… someone Nishimachi had hired to promote my education and my well-being. I was expected to trust him. I was his student. Why would a male teacher ever touch a female student like that? I left Nishimachi soon after that.
No one protected us. No one believed us. It has been 40 years since I attended Nishimachi, but the shame and humiliation and pain that Mr. Hawkins caused me is still fresh. The impact of his molestations is something I live with to this day. He caused me damage and humiliation. The scars are there and they’ll never go away.