Almost never will a
victim of sexual workplace harassment be groped or preyed upon from day one.
Although harassers have different characters, they all get their satisfactions
from the harassment. So some harassers enjoy the public humiliation of the victims,
others prefer this moment of power behind closed doors. People immediately have
their own opinion ready on how to react when they hear about sexual workplace
harassment. But we forget that victims and bystanders have been made
defenseless long before the actual assault.
A fragment out of Spitting on Hans’ tosti, this story gradually reveals how an apparently stray kiss leads to degrading harassment.
“It’s a rainy day and not many people are present at the office. My life on weekdays between 9.00 am and 5.30 pm has been properly disrupted. I absent-mindedly clean up a couple of things in the kitchen. Completely wrapped up in my own world, I don’t hear him coming. As I bend over slightly to take some bread out of the freezer, I suddenly feel Sir’s hand. I know without a doubt it’s his hand, who else’s would it be? It all goes so fast, yet it also seems to take forever. He sticks his whole hand, al five fingers under my skirt and I feel how he creeps up to the edge of my stockings. Fortunately I succeed to wriggle myself loose but when I turn around, his fingers end up in my groin. Just as I turn around, I see her standing there, but I can’t say whether she’s been there for a while or whether she just walked in. Still completely disconnected from myself, I desperately look at her, waiting for a response, but she quickly lower her eyes. Sir pretends nothing’s wrong, but he is clearly gratified when the employee doesn’t seem to respond to respond to his assault“.
AboutWorkplaceHarassment can be your partner in creating an efficient company policy, employer liability, employer obligations, and enforcement of the law, preventing sexual workplace harassment, complaint procedure and training of all individuals in the workplace. But all these subjects will only be successful when employers and employees are combating together against sexual workplace harassment. Which means that we all need to understand how to recognize the harasser, their characters and also the victim’s behavior and what the effects are of a hostile work environment.