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Everyone knows that sexual harassment is rampant in the workplace, but most survivors admit that it’s especially debilitating to be assaulted for the first time at your first job.
It was an exciting day for Annie as it was her first-day starting work as a hotel receptionist at a 5-star hotel. She’s always wanted to venture into hospitality despite being pressured by her parents to get a more prominent job. Annie has always loved the idea of working in the service industry as she loves meeting people, talking, and helping people out. When she first started out, she was taken under the wing of a senior, Amir. Amir was very helpful in the sense of showing how everything worked and was always there while attend to her every time she needed assistance. She’d always speak so highly of him of how helpful he was.
However, 5 months into working with this hotel, Amir started making Annie feel more and more uncomfortable as he will make inappropriate comments about her looks and such. He would nonchalantly make rape jokes about Annie, especially when they were alone. He also started touching Annie without consent even though those touches were not considered sexual. Amir would randomly come up to Annie and give her shoulder massages and at times, when he had the chance, he would caress her arm in a way that made Annie very uncomfortable. Though Annie was too scared to voice anything out as she is still considered the new girl. She noticed that their boss would also laugh and make rape jokes which made her think, there is no point in reporting. Not to mention how afraid she was to lose her job that she was so excited about in the beginning.
Her dream job slowly turned into a living nightmare as at times, when Amir caught Annie alone, he would corner her and try to hug or kiss her. When he realized that she was uncomfortable and would pull away, he would play it off as if it was just a joke and he was never going to do it anyway. Amir would also brush off his actions with[eltd_blockquote text=”“what are you going to do? Report me? Come on, it’s all jokes. Plus do you really think people are going to believe you? You’re such a tease. Don’t act like you don’t like the attention”.” title_tag=”h4″ width=””]
Annie ultimately was forced to decide between having her dream job or dealing with the sexual harassment happening at her workplace. As a victim, it is totally understandable for her to feel like she doesn’t want to make the issue bigger than it is as some people are not too forgiving towards women and afraid to be victim-blamed and gaslit. Eventually, Annie left her job and in search of another job with a safer environment for her. She also has since been to therapy to help deal with the sexual harassment trauma.
“It makes me sick to think about how many other women suffered like me,” says Annie. Here are some tips you can take if you ever experience sexual harassment in the workplace. Then, she added “I wish I had someone to teach me how not to be taken advantage of on my first job,”. However, if your workplace doesn’t provide the guidelines, use any of the tips below to deal with sexual harassment.
7 Tips to Handle Sexual Harassment
Sometimes sexual harassment can come off as an innocent joke, especially if you as a victim were gaslit to believe that it is. If it made you uncomfortable, that is harassment. Document in detail the occurrence for your future benefit. Sometimes sexual harassment is better identified when there is a pattern of behavior showing exactly that. Make notes of the date, time, and other present parties as well as location, what was being said, and more.