It was summer 2016, I was 17 at the time almost 18. I was in karate for 7 years, I had quit when I was 13 or 14. By this time my mom was still going and I decided to go with her to watch. I saw a few people I knew from when I had gone to the lessons. The main instructor barely recognized me but was very happy to see me. Another instructor recognized me immediately and was acting strange and different. I thought he was just being dorky and funny, but when I got home, he had messaged me. I thought it was weird at first but I went along with it. “He hadn’t seen me in a while, he probably wants to catch up.” I thought. Then he started acting inappropriately, saying I was hot and that he wanted pictures of me. A man that was 10 years older, someone who has a girlfriend and someone I thought I could trust. At first I was playing along, until I knew he was serious. I thought it was some prank. I started to become scared, he was a black belt and much larger than I was, he could easily take advantage. I sent him pictures out of fear that if I didn’t, he would come after me. He would send me things no one should see or talk about with their karate instructor. This went on for months, I was paranoid, I was scared to tell anyone; he told me not to. He would tell me to go over to his house, but I would always have an excuse to not go or meet him anywhere. Thinking no one would believe me. No one would help me. I’m too disgusting to even get help. I soon started to develop depression. My best friend got involved, he feared for my life and told me to tell the police or my mom. Eventually I had enough courage to tell my mom about it, she believed me and apparently this wasn’t his first time. He did it to my sisters, but they had more courage to stand up to him, I was weak and couldn’t stand up to someone like him. I didn’t want the police involved or anything to do with him. My mom talked to him, and my sister talked to his girlfriend. I don’t know what became of him, and I still don’t. I don’t like talking about it, I still have nightmares, and fear that he’ll come after me. I have support from the very few people that know about it. So if something like this is happening to you, please tell someone that you know will help. It helped me a lot.
— Savanna, age 18