Sexual harassment is no longer a myth in our society. From the offices to schools and even social andÂ religious places, it is the same story. Often times, victims only end up being victimised again as they end up being blamed They must have done something to warrant such harassment.
What could this be? How does one shake off a sexual harassment? What happens after an harassment has successfully taken place? With these questions in mind, we asked a few respondents who all claimed to have fallen victims of sexual harassment, how it happened and what they did afterwards.
As usual, we are expecting you to send in your contributions on this issue. We will also be glad if you can share a true life experience of you or someone you know along with your contribution. Our mailing addresses remain: The Human Angle, Vanguard, P.M.B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos. Or email@example.com.
Susan,22,an undergraduate, tells a vivid story of sexual harassment of students by lectures in one of the nationâ€™s institutions of higher learning with a personal experience.Â Her story continues today. Happy reading!
Daniel, 27, Administrative Personnel, says it is not only men who harass women. Women also do. His storyis concluded below:
Barely few months after I started working under her, she made bold her passes. Her actions really irritated me because as a Christian and a child of God, I felt it was improper for a married woman to be involved in such acts. And so, not only did I become uncomfortable with her attitude, she made the office unconducive for me to work.
Before now, I had heard rumours concerning her exploits with young men, and I did my best to be careful. So I guarded against being a prey to her whenever the time arose. I prayed also and believed God was in control.
In everything she did, I found solace in God and when she realized I was not interested in her, she seriously waged war against me.
Indeed, things were really not easy as she made my life miserable and my office work suffered greatly. This gave her the opportunity she had been seeking to query my work and she made good her case. It got to the extent that I was almost fired, but thank God, He intervened and I was given a second chance.
And indeed, God did it for me, He fought the battles of my life and gave me victory and in due season, she was transferred to the main branch. And I now have my peace.
Lizzy, (30), a Secretary narrates how she was also harassed by the Personnel Manager of a company where she went job hunting when she first arrived Lagos. Her story:
Prior to my experience, I had been hearing about sexual harassment in offices. I had heard several stories about how women have to use their bodies to secure placements in work places. How they use sex to get promotions and increases.
But I had never heard from someone I know personally, only stories. I believe the stories because there is no smoke without fire. If they were not happening, people will not know about them and will never spread them as stories. So, I knew they were true stories, only I had never had physical evidence of it.
The opportunity afforded itself at the very first job vacancy I applied for. I had come to Lagos from Ibadan just like most people, seeking to better their lot. I was to live with an uncle, work and further my studies. My uncle had promised to get me a job with one of his friends. I trained as a Secretary, and had assumed it would not be so difficult getting a job.
But after three months with my uncle and the job offer he promised was not forth coming, I decided I had to do something about my life before things took a turn for the worse.
I had practically become the house keeper, nanny and cook for my uncle and his wife. I do not mind helping out at home, after all, I was living off them. But it appeared the wife had taken me for granted sort of. She was behaving as if I was in their employ, to serve and do their will. I discovered on arrival that their last house help left just before I came.
So, to my uncleâ€™s wife, I was a replacement for her. I would work from morning to evening, doing market runs, school runs for the youngest child, washing and cooking.
After three months and my uncle did not mention anything about the job again, I decided to do something. I started searching through newspapers and magazines for vacancies. It was not funny.
I wrote several applications and nothing came out of it. Not even an acknowledgment that they received my letters. But it would seem all hope was not lost yet. Early one morning, I woke up and my uncle brought out a letter from his brief case.
He told me he forgot to give me the previous night, adding that he suspected it must be a letter for interview. I guess he felt guilty because he went on to add that his friend with whom heâ€™d promised me a job, called him from abroad that he was coming home soon.
By that time, I did not care a hoot about his rich friend anymore. I knew it was a planned arrangement between himself and his wife to keep me in their home indefinitely or until they could find a replacement for the chores I did for them.
It was an interview letter quite alright and the interview was to take place the next day.
I thanked my luck for getting the letter even a day earlier, because Iâ€™d heard stories of letters arriving months after the scheduled dates had passed. The next day was a very important day in my life and I did not care a hoot how my uncle and his wife were going to take care of things while I was away.
I heard her asking him in their room and then he shouting at her to solve it as it was her problem and not his. I was really hurt at that point because it sort of confirmed all that I had been thinking about the couple. I decided to double my efforts at securing a job so that I could quickly liberate myself from their home.
The interview was very brief, much briefer than Iâ€™d expected. Iâ€™d assumed they were going to give us some difficult tasks to deal with. We were given typing and speed writing exercises, and I was very happy with my performance. I had concluded that there was no way they were going to do a free and fair selection without short listing my name. After all, with out being told, one can assess oneâ€™s self with the other competitors around.
So, I was not surprised when I was called again for another round of interviews. This time it was going to be oral. There were four of us. Without praising
To be continued on Thursday