Office Harassment

[This is a story emailed to us when we asked about any personal stories you may have of harassment. The writer wishes to stay anonymous] 

While on a business trip, I was sexually harassed by a member of upper management, in front of coworkers and a client.  When I got back from the trip I sent a letter of complaint to human resources.  I took a time off of work because I was humiliated and I didn’t know what to do. When I finally got back to work, I was demoted and told I was a liability to the company. I quit my job because I knew if I stayed they would make my life hell. I lost most of my friends, who worked at the job with me and didn’t know how to talk to me, or felt that their jobs were in jeopardy if they did. It took me two months of telling and retelling the details of the painful experience to get the courage to consult with an attorney. I think what really got through to me was how many times I heard: “I didn’t do anything about it and I wish I did.”  We settled out of court. While this has not provided me with all the closure I need to fully overcome this, it has forced me to tap a well of strength I previously did not know I had. I hope more women have the courage to tell their stories, and to pursue legal action whenever possible.  There are people out there who will hear your story and will help you. It is scary to speak up, but far scarier to carry the pain in silence and to allow the cycle of abuse to continue.

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