Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

I was sexually assaulted by a coworker

Hello,

About 6 months ago I was sexually assaulted by my co-worker. This 'person'took advantage of me when I was very drunk and possibly drugged.I had been working with him for about a year and after about 6 months he started to sexually harass me. At first I took it as innocent infatuation and brushed it off telling him that I was married and had no interest. After a while the harrrassment became worse. I had recently been promoted and felt embarrassed of the situation so I did not initially tell my employer about it hoping he would clue in and stop. At one point I told another co-worker that he was making me uncomfortable and that I wanted him to talk to him about it. He did but for unrelated issues had to leave the company. After he left it got even worse I was asked about it by the human resource lady who sensed something was off and told her that He was making unwanted sexual based comments and following me around. I told her at the time that I wanted to handle it myself.I didn't want to endanger my newly aquired position in the company with drama. I was pretty good friends with his friends and sometimes went to lunch with all three of them. He would as me to go to lunch with him alone I always made sure that the other two came along with. One evening after a big audit was passed I was invited by the other two to go out for drinks with about 20 other coworkers. The 'person' was also there. I went and got very very drunk. I didn't pay for one drink as they kept buying me drinks. After a while one of the two friends that invited me and who was my ride home stated that they were going back to the other friends apartment for more drinks.As he was my ride home I agreed. When we got there I was handed a screwdriver that seemed to be premade I took one sip said I didn't like it and remember slumping down on the floor beside the couch and blacked out. When I came too I was alone with the 'person'. I asked where the other two were and he stated he didn't know that they were just gone. I felt very uncomfortable and drunk and made my way to the bathroom. When I exited the 'person' was outside the door and pushes me inside the adjacent bedroom. When I hit the bed I knew what he was up to and told him that I did not want to have sex with him. He laughed and lay down beside me I felt very sleepy and out of it at that point. He started to pull my pants off I was able to grab them on the way down and partially pull them back up but lacked the coordination to successfully do so as I was very drunk he then forced himself on me. I managed to kick him off on three occasions during this but I could not get up I told him several times to stop but he didn't say anything as I can recall. Eventually as I felt that The two 'friends' weren't around to save me I simply let him finish what he was doing. He eventually stopped when they returned and interuppted him. I was too ashamed and inebriated to say anything and eventually got myself together and asked my 'friend' to take me home. I was extremely confused and shocked the day afterwards. I told my husband what had happened. But because I was so ashamed of myself for getting so wasted and ignoring the sexual harassment at work he felt I had cheated on him when I tried to explain it to him. I reported it to the police 2 days after the incident but was advised that if I were to officially charge him that it could take up to 4 years with no guarantees. I was told I could instead put a protection order called a pleacebond on him to keep him away from me. I felt this was the best option for me and my family because I didn't (and still dont) want to give anymore of my life to this horrible person. I informed my employer of what was going on. Initially they hesitated in letting him go but as I gave them a detailed list of all the sexual harassment that had occurred eventually decided to fire him. I worked there for 2 months before they laid me off due to 'restructuring'. I am very depressed and angry I just don't know what to do. My husband says he wants to go get help because he can't stop thinking that I cheated on him. I'm getting help through my councillor but can't seems to get past this.

 

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6 thoughts on “I was sexually assaulted by a coworker

  • LouLou says:

    I am so sorry for what you have been put through by what sounds like a motivated perpetrator of abuse. You are in no way to blame for what happened – being pished is not a green light to rape you. Ever. Even if you hadn’t had your drink spiked, it wouldn’t matter. It has nothing to do with whether or not this man made the decision to force himself on you. In fact, your level of inebriation may have made you incapable of consent. Not reporting or following up on sexual harassment doesn’t make you even slightly at fault either – abusers deliberately exploit the power they have over you and the societal awkwardness of such situations to ensure that you won’t report anything. And with all due respect to your partner, YOU are the one who has suffered here. You need support, not rebuke. If you’re like the many, many thousands of women who have been in this or similar situations, you may instinctively minimise what has happened because the details are hazy and the abuser has stopped short of being a cartoon villain. But someone doesn’t have to be an unbridled Harvey Weinstein type to be a perpetrator, or to have committed a crime against you. Anyway, I just want to say that I BELIEVE YOU and i hope you get the support you need. It sounds like you may benefit from talking to a Rape Crisis or Domestic/Sexual Violence helpline. The women who work on those helplines are amazing and they will be a great objective, non-judgmental listening ear. Even if you don’t want to take anything further, they’ll listen and believe and reassure you that you are not alone and that this is abuse. And if you do ever want to do anything about it, they’ll point you in the right direction. Much love & light x

  • Lindsey says:

    I’m so sorry for what was done to you, by your coworker & by his two “friends” & then by your husband & then by your employer & by the unwieldy criminal justice system. That’s so much violence, betrayal and damage to heap on one person’s shoulders — and you deserved none of it. And you have shown so much resilience and courage, it’s so amazingly hard to take the steps you have (going to employers, telling spouses, going to LE) when your entire world has been shaken. FWIW, I think that’s an awesome testament to who you are.

    I wish you huge amounts of good luck and peace in… everything. I hope your husband gets the clarity he needs and you deserve.

  • Admin says:

    I’m so sorry yr work didn’t stop this; it wasn’t your fault. Sounds as if yr husband needs help to realise it’s not about him; hang in there

    (via Twitter)

  • Admin says:

    This is why women don’t say http://anything.You need to put yourself 1st don’t let anything or anybody minimise what you’ve been through

    (via Twitter)

  • Admin says:

    This is clearly horrendous abuse by someone who exploited the power dynamics in the workplace to commit sexual assault.

    (from Women’s Aid NI via Twitter)

  • Admin says:

    I’m sorry you dealt with that, for so long in you workplace and then the party. It was so wrong and I’m glad you reported him.

    (From AGF Foundation via Twitter)

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