I was reluctant to watch 13 Reasons Why on Netflix but endured and watched each episode after hearing almost everyone I met with stating how it was relatable, triggering or reality. As a Mental Health Therapist I meet with "Hannah Baker" weekly. Disclaimer to those who thought it was not appropriate or too graphic with scenes of sexual assault, suicide and violence; I haven't met a teenager yet who thought it WAS. This is THEIR reality! Sexual assault happens on campus, at prom and parties etc. Violence is witness daily rather it is on campus or through the media. We have created a society of bystanders. Even as adults we are afraid to stand up for others or our believes out of fear, judgement or loss of opportunity. I have met with girls in high school who have been raped on and off of school property, drugged at prom and sexually assaulting in the parking lot with many people watching the violent act for enjoyment and entertainment.
- Hannah Baker's parents had no clue she was struggling with depression or premeditated suicidal thoughts, other parents were not aware that their daughter had been raped, had a drinking problem, used drugs, sneaking out at night etc.
(I meet these parents ALL THE TIME)
- School Professionals dismissed warning signs and attempts at reaching out for help and were unable to report criminal activity without proof, confession or statement of all details. This often leads to victim being suspended for risky behaviors following sexual assault or violence such as substance abuse on campus, skipping school, retaliation or disruptive behavior or being held back for poor school performance which are all possible signs of trauma or depression.
- Bullying was dismissed
- Bystander syndrome as many people did not step in to stop the violence or sexual assault from happening witnessing it or knowing it was happening.
- Reputation over remorse
- LGBTQ youth are still bullied, rejected, ridiculed and have the highest rate of suicide due to rejections, fear of judgement, bulling and lack of support.
- Teens are uneducated on the laws of having sex as a minor or sexual assault.
- Teenagers are unaware of their rights if violated or exploited whether they are under the influence, have broken other laws or rules to receive justice and treatment.
- Teenagers fear they will be in trouble or blamed if they disclose they were a victim which unfortunately is the reality of what happens.
- They do not disclose their pain because they do not want to hurt or burden others with their trauma. This is why counseling is always beneficial for any teen or preteen so they have a safe place to unload and disclose their pain outside of a school setting.
- Cries for help were seen as "drama"
- Alcohol, drugs and weapons are easily accessible
13. People cared about Hannah Baker and never expressed it.
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