Women at work places: speak up and break the silence!

A first hand case study from a client of WCCC

 

I have been working at my job since June 2010.  I just broke up with my boyfriend at the time when a guy from my work asked if he could be my boyfriend and I accepted.  After about two weeks I told him that we’re finished – I didn’t like his behavior.  From then on he used to come to my office and say things to me like why did I finish with him but he never disrespect me in any way.

On the last day of December, he came into my office doing the same thing complaining and asking if we could go back on being boyfriend girlfriend again.  All of a sudden another man from our work walked in and grabbed me from the front and told my ex-boyfriend to kiss me.  I was shaking my head around because I didn’t want to.   But he was holding my face in his hands and kissing my lips, sticking his tongue in my mouth.  After that they went out the door laughing.  I could hear them saying to their co-worker outside, “the offender just kissed the victim, she deserved it because she was playing hard to get”.

In the beginning of this year, my ex boyfriend grabbed my buttock one day as I was walking outside my office.  At this time, I heard rumors that he is talking about me having an affair with another men, saying that I am not a virgin and one day he say it straight to my face.  One day I walked inside one of the rooms at work and as I walk in I can hear my name came up in my ex-boyfriend’s conversation and the men burst out laughing.  I was so angry. I walked up to him kicking his feet saying, what did you say about me? He didn’t say anything, they just kept on laughing. So I kicked him again. Then he kicked me three times on the chest. It hurt so much because he was wearing his safety boots.  I went to the doctor to make a report.  I took it to the police and made a complaint about the two men, the man who held me and my ex boyfriend who kissed me, grabbed my buttock, gossiped about me and kicked me on the chest.

I’ll never forget this incident because this is the first time I have ever experience something like this even outside of work.   I haven’t felt like this ever in my life before.  That day I felt so afraid that I can’t sleep at night for a few weeks, I felt dirty and angry and when they were laughing at me I felt used  ‘little and without dignity, I also felt frustrated thinking that I can’t do anything about it, that I am powerless  in this situation.

I came straight to the director of WCCC because that’s who I was advised to go to, and after talking to her a counselor was appointed to me while the director was writing a letter to my boss at work telling him:

That I am a client of the WCCC and informing him of my right to have a workplace that is safe and free of sexual harassment.

The counselor then documented my story, called the Ministry of Police Domestic Violence Unit to clarify some information and then we went into a counseling session. By the time we were finished the letter was ready and the centre delivered it to my work.

One of the reasons why I am so grateful to the centre, I didn’t know anything about my complaint if it wasn’t for the centre.  After I made my complaint I went with my parent, my counselor and the male advocate of the centre to court, we met up with the prosecutor and he told us that he dropped the case of one of the men because there is not enough evidence and the other man will only be charged on one count.  Luckily, the two staff of the centre were there to level with him.  My counselor took me to the DVU unit again today to talk about my case and I am still unsatisfied but at the same time I am happy because the centre is there to help me, support me and make me feel good about myself, that I haven’t done anything wrong, and am empowered about this kind of situation.  We are still working on my case.

I feel very lucky that I came to the centre, the way they talk to the police it made me feel courageous, I feel good about myself, have high self-esteem, that I am supported, I advice you women out there especially women at work places to speak up and break the silence, that’s the purpose of my taking this case to court.  I don’t want to go through this again, and I don’t want it to happen to anyone at my work place or any other organization.    I am very grateful that I came to the centre and it was true that they help me a great deal. They did a great deal more than what I expected.

Women at work places: speak up and break the silence!

A first hand case study from a client of WCCC

I have been working at my job since June 2010.  I just broke up with my boyfriend at the time when a guy from my work asked if he could be my boyfriend and I accepted.  After about  two weeks I told him that we’re finished –  I didn’t like his behavior.  From then on he used to come to my office and say things to me like why did I finish with him but he never disrespect me in any way.

On the last day of December, he came into  my office doing the same thing complaining and asking if we could go back on being boyfriend girlfriend again.  All of a sudden  another man from our work  walked in and grabbed me from the front and told my ex-boyfriend to kiss me.  I was shaking my head around because I didn’t want to.   But he was holding my face in his hands and kissing my lips, sticking his tongue in my mouth.  After that they went out the door laughing.  I could hear them saying to their co-worker outside, “the offender just kissed the victim, she deserved it because she was playing hard to get”.

In the beginning of this year, my ex boyfriend grabbed my buttock one day as I was walking outside my office.  At this time, I heard rumors that he is talking about me having an affair with another men, saying that I am not a virgin and one day he say it straight to my face.  One day I walked inside one of the rooms at work and ass I walk in I can hear my name came up in my ex-boyfriend’s conversation and the men burst out laughing.  I was so angry. I walked up to him kicking his feet saying, what did you say about me? He didn’t say anything, they just kept on laughing. So I kicked himagain. Then he kicked me three times on the chest. It hurt so much because he was wearing his safety boots.  I went to the doctor to make a report.  I took it to the police and made a complaint about the two men, the man who held me and my ex boyfriend who kissed me, grabbed my buttock, gossiped about me and kicked me on the chest.

I’ll never forget this incident because this is the first time I have ever experience something like this even outside of work.   I haven’t felt like this ever in my life before.  That day I felt so afraid that I can’t sleep at night for few weeks, I felt dirty and angry and when they were laughing at me I felt used ‘ little and without dignity, I also felt frustrated thinking that I can’t do anything about it, that I am powerless  in this situation.

I came straight to the director of WCCC because that’s who I was advised to go to, and after talking to her a counselor was appointed to me while the director was worte a letter to my boss at work telling him that I am a client of the WCCC and informing him of my right to have a workplace that is safe and free of sexual harassment.

The counselor then documented my story, called the Ministry of Police Domestic Violence Unit to clarify some information and then we went into a counseling session. By the time we were finished the letter was ready and the centre delivered it to my work.

One of the reasons why I am so grateful to the centre, I didn’t know anything about my complaint if it wasn’t for the centre.  After I made my complaint I went with my parent, my counselor and the male advocate of the centre to court, we met up with the prosecutor and he told us that he dropped the case of one of the men because there is not enough  evidence and the other man will only be charged on one count.  Luckily, the two staff of the centre were there to level with him.  My counselor took me to the DVU unit again today to talk about my case and I am still unsatisfied but at the same time I am happy because the centre is there to help me, support me and make me feel good about myself, that I haven’t done anything wrong, and am empowered about this kind of situation.  We are still working on my case.

I feel very lucky that I came to the centre, the way they talk to the police it made me feel courageous, I feel good about myself, have high self-esteem, that I am supported, I advice you women out there especially women at work places to speak up and break the silence, that’s the purpose of my taking this case to court.  I don’t want to go through this again, and I don’t want it to happen to anyone at my work place or any other organization.    I am very grateful that I came to the centre and it was true that they help me a great deal. They did a great deal  more than what I expected.

 

“You have to be strong”

A firsthand account of reporting sexual abuse to the police and prosecuting it 

At first when I rang the Police I got the idea that they didn’t want to come.

The incident had just happened – and my friend had to get on the phone and insist. In fact, he had to call another Police Officer that we knew (who was on vacation) to even get the Police to come. They wanted me to go to the central police station – but I wanted them to come to the scene of the crime.
The Police finally came out one hour later to where we were waiting.
All four were big, male policemen. I felt very uncomfortable with the four men. Many of the questions they asked me were very inappropriate and not investigative in nature. I felt as though they thought it was my fault. I asked them to come to the crime scene and my friend suggested they take photos. They took some – but they also took photos of each other, posing, smiling and being funny. It felt very wrong.

Then they sent me to the Central Police Station. I was grateful they gave me a female policewoman – but she asked me to write my own statement. I had no idea what to write. While I was reporting at the Central Police Station, another police officer was walking in and out of the room. I did not feel that my statement was being given any confidentiality.

I got a medical report, as requested, the day afterwards. I was told to go to the hospital on my own unaccompanied by Police. But when I was there they said I needed the police. I called and eventually the police came, only to have to wait outside, and they left before we finished. I was so confused – everyone was telling me different things, and I was already so shaken up. I felt very alone.

As the investigation went on, more and more police became involved. They would ask the same questions which were really hard to answer. Sometimes they would turn up at my work. Eventually the commander asked me to redo my statement and he helped by being specific about the details I needed to include. I took it home to finish. I was relieved to have the commander involved. I felt like he understood the severity of the crime.

Once the commander was involved things moved a lot faster. The police found the perpetrator and I identified him. At the station I could see the perpetrator’s family – his wife and children – sitting across the hallway. It was horrible to realise that this man had a family.

That night a policeman called me. He told me that the wife and husband were very sorry for what happened and that they wanted to organize reconciliation. The idea of sitting in a room with the perpetrator was just not possible for me. I made it very clear that this was not an option. I later found out that this was very wrong – the policeman was trying to stop the perpetrator from going to prison.

Then the police prosecutor told me that the perpetrator would be tried before the local court. I was worried that I hadn’t finished my statement, and none of the police seemed concerned. On the day of the trial I took my statement to the police and they laughed when I expressed my concern over the statement. I had to persist to get a policeman to sign it and then I had to take it to the prosecutor because the police would not do it. It felt like almost every interaction with the police was hard work.

I went to the local court because the prosecutor told me I should be there. As soon as I entered the court, the wife of the perpetrator came over to me with her children. The children kept coming up and smiling at me. It was so, so horrible. I just couldn’t understand what the family was after. The prosecutor had said my case would be at the end so less people would be there – but my case was called up second. There were over 60 people in the court room.  I felt very exposed.

The court case went in and the prosecutor instructed me to be on the other side of the building. I was grateful that I did not have to go inside and that he gave me some direction. I was also relieved that they told me that they would not place my name on the press releases. I was informed that the judge had referred the case directly to the high court as the perpetrator had pleaded guilty.

It was much clearer once the case was sitting with Crown Law. They rang me to inform me of the process and the progress of the case. Finally I was told that the perpetrator had been charged with the most serious sentence for attempted rape and sexual assault. I feel better knowing that he is not in the community.

Overall I felt totally confused and angry with the police, although I was relieved that the commander got involved. I had to do everything on my own. The way the policemen acted made me feel as though I was forcing them to do work. I got the impression that they did not handle cases like mine often. Constantly needing to re-tell my story, and to do to so many men, was awful. The whole situation has left me wondering how anyone can be strong enough to report a rape to the police.

The only thing that kept me strong through the whole process was knowing that everyone who reports to the police makes it easier for the next person. It was worth it, but you have to be strong.

Women at work places: speak up and break the silence!

A first hand case study from a client of WCCC

 

I have been working at my job since June 2010. I just broke up with my boyfriend at the time when a guy from my work asked if he could be my boyfriend and I accepted. After about two weeks I told him that we’re finished – I didn’t like his behavior. From then on he used to come to my office and say things to me like why did I finish with him but he never disrespect me in any way.

On the last day of December, he came into my office doing the same thing complaining and asking if we could go back on being boyfriend girlfriend again. All of a sudden another man from our work walked in and grabbed me from the front and told my ex-boyfriend to kiss me. I was shaking my head around because I didn’t want to.   But he was holding my face in his hands and kissing my lips, sticking his tongue in my mouth. After that they went out the door laughing. I could hear them saying to their co-worker outside, “the offender just kissed the victim, she deserved it because she was playing hard to get”.

In the beginning of this year, my ex boyfriend grabbed my buttock one day as I was walking outside my office. At this time, I heard rumors that he is talking about me having an affair with another men, saying that I am not a virgin and one day he say it straight to my face. One day I walked inside one of the rooms at work and as I walk in I can hear my name came up in my ex-boyfriend’s conversation and the men burst out laughing. I was so angry. I walked up to him kicking his feet saying, what did you say about me? He didn’t say anything, they just kept on laughing. So I kicked him again. Then he kicked me three times on the chest. It hurt so much because he was wearing his safety boots. I went to the doctor to make a report. I took it to the police and made a complaint about the two men, the man who held me and my ex boyfriend who kissed me, grabbed my buttock, gossiped about me and kicked me on the chest.

I’ll never forget this incident because this is the first time I have ever experience something like this even outside of work.   I haven’t felt like this ever in my life before. That day I felt so afraid that I can’t sleep at night for a few weeks, I felt dirty and angry and when they were laughing at me I felt used  ‘little and without dignity, I also felt frustrated thinking that I can’t do anything about it, that I am powerless in this situation.

I came straight to the director of WCCC because that’s who I was advised to go to, and after talking to her a counselor was appointed to me while the director was writing a letter to my boss at work telling him:

That I am a client of the WCCC and informing him of my right to have a workplace that is safe and free of sexual harassment.

The counselor then documented my story, called the Ministry of Police Domestic Violence Unit to clarify some information and then we went into a counseling session. By the time we were finished the letter was ready and the centre delivered it to my work.

One of the reasons why I am so grateful to the centre, I didn’t know anything about my complaint if it wasn’t for the centre. After I made my complaint I went with my parent, my counselor and the male advocate of the centre to court, we met up with the prosecutor and he told us that he dropped the case of one of the men because there is not enough evidence and the other man will only be charged on one count. Luckily, the two staff of the centre were there to level with him. My counselor took me to the DVU unit again today to talk about my case and I am still unsatisfied but at the same time I am happy because the centre is there to help me, support me and make me feel good about myself, that I haven’t done anything wrong, and am empowered about this kind of situation. We are still working on my case.

I feel very lucky that I came to the centre, the way they talk to the police it made me feel courageous, I feel good about myself, have high self-esteem, that I am supported, I advice you women out there especially women at work places to speak up and break the silence, that’s the purpose of my taking this case to court. I don’t want to go through this again, and I don’t want it to happen to anyone at my work place or any other organization.    I am very grateful that I came to the centre and it was true that they help me a great deal. They did a great deal more than what I expected.