Reporting Sexual Harassment Years Later

Discussion in 'Working Women' started by Rihana, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    In the past few weeks, we have reads accounts from many women of how they were sexually harassed. #MeToo has encouraged more women to go public about their experiences. Some of the incidents of sexual harassment occurred 10-20 years ago. The ones that got most notice involve prominent celebrities, actors, politicians, sports coaches, professors.

    The women speak of how they suffered, often in times when the term 'sexual harassment' was not so well-known, laws around it lax, and the women often had a choice of setting back a rising career they'd worked hard for or keeping quiet about the harassment. The pendulum has truly swung the other way now. The woman goes public with her story, reaction from public and the accused man's employer or associates is immediate. Movie deals, endorsements gone for accused actors, celebrities and major career setback for such politicians.

    I have somewhat mixed feelings about the justice meted out to the accused men. Even as they are crafting an apology or a response, and figuring out how to salvage the situation and minimize the damage to themselves, the consequences pour in swiftly. On one hand, they are finally getting their comeuppance, on the other hand, the whole thing has a justice before sunrise tone to it. The early morning newspaper and talk shows pretty much decide his fate with not much due process.

    The question in this thread is a bit different. It is about regular women working in regular jobs.

    Say, a woman suffered sexual harassment at work some years ago. Kept quiet as the man was well regarded in the company, mentored her, and she knew getting management to believe her and take action would be very difficult. Now #MeToo happens. Woman is married, has kids, settled in a job in another company. The man also has risen in his career, is involved with a few start-up companies, and is well-known in his field.

    Should the woman go public about her experience of sexual harassment, like in a blogpost or on FB? It could encourage more women who were harassed by the man to come out with their stories. If he is still up to the same acts, he will stop at least now. The man could lose financially and also be booted out of some companies he is involved with. His family including teenage children might also suffer for his wrongdoing from years ago.

    Should the woman go public about her experience of sexual harassment from some years ago?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
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  2. momsky

    momsky Gold IL'ite

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    I think it depends on the degree of harassment the victim suffered. I don’t think I will because I know my case is not considered very serious although it scarred me to some extent. See, some years ago, my former manager, who is now the head of the company, offered me a ride and, out of nowhere, put his hand on my leg (suit/short skirt). I did not react because I was afraid he might detour and rape me. I continued our conversation as if his hand was not there and after that, I avoided him like a plague.

    My sil, on the other hand, was raped. She doesn’t talk about it but she’s happy and successful now. If she was to go public, I’ll support her wholeheartedly. I think she’s more afraid of what her brothers will do to the guy than to what will people think of her.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
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  3. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    That was my thought too. Given how children are using the internet and social media at very young ages, it will be hard to shield her kids from it.

    True, it depends on the degree of harassment, and in some cases, how much the harassment impacted the woman. A woman might feel more violated than another when dealing with similar harassment.

    Her brothers don't know already?
     
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  4. momsky

    momsky Gold IL'ite

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    The psychological effect is lifelong and it comes and go. My experience was not very big but the feeling of being trapped and not able to run away without jeopardizing my own life in the process still lingers in my head.

    My ex and bils knew (they overheard my mil’s secretary) but sil wouldn’t tell them the guy. Mil said her three sons were fuming, they and their friends took kerosene and cricket bats with them and demanded my sil to show them the house but sil refused. Apparently, the guy threatened my sil with a knife and later my Mil.
     
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