By 2015, an average of about 13,700 sexual harassment claims had been filed with the EEOC every year for the last 15 years. That’s almost 206,000 claims. However, these are only the ones where the brave man or woman victimized has chosen to stand up and ask for the behavior to stop. There are many cases in which the victims stay silent. Sadly, unless we do something to break the cycle, the behavior will continue.
The cycle can stop. Change is possible.
Change is Possible
Through sharing, discussion, and the voluntary choice to change, we can each make a difference in each other’s lives for the better – from a place of love, hope and mutual respect. How do I know? I’ve been there, and done that.
“You cannot save people, you can only love them.”
The Diary Of Anais Nin, Volume Two (1934-1939)
Been There, Done That
I am no expert. I just know what I’ve been through and want to share that just in case it is helpful to someone else experiencing similar challenges. Imagine Change is a short peak at how my story enfolded over the course of 10 years.
For a long time, I used a pen name, Plum Blossom, because I was afraid of retaliation. I chose that name because, just like beautiful spring blossoms, the fall and winter must be endured before spring can come. I endeavor every day to keep hope alive, no matter how difficult it can be. But I got through it by journaling my pain, my hurts and healing each pain, one at a time.
I invite all readers, especially professionals, to offer your comments, questions and insights my blog and share your expertise so that we all may grow – a rising tide raises all boats. Please do so, from the heart.
I invite all victims to share your story. I encourage you to be as open and frank as you can with your answers to the Should Have, Could Have and Would Have questions, because this is where our learning happens. This is where the visitor to the site that is unsure whether he is behaving on the right side of the line can find affirmation. This is where those who have crossed the line can learn about the detrimental impact of their choices and possibly learn what they might be able to do to make amends. You have the power to heal, both yourself and others, by sharing your full story. Please do so, from the heart.
I imagine that you too might be afraid of retribution and this is why all stories shared are scrubbed of personal information. This is done to protect you as much as possible in this very public internet.
Stories from Athena’s Garden
Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, strength, and the arts, is attributed with many skills.
I believe it takes courage to stand up against sexual harassment and the retaliation that often accompanies it. This blog was named after Athena to inspire this courage and offer wisdom to the men and women who suffer through this violation of civil rights.
Athena’s garden is a place where men and women can share their stories, access resources and find the courage and wisdom they need to bloom, to make a change and to be their full self, in full bloom, no longer a shrinking violet in an oppressive environment.
It is my hope, it is my dream that this website offers resources and support to help victims of sexual harassment and retaliation on their journey of dealing and healing. This will be a place for those who wish to begin the healing process and be the change they hope to see in the world (Mahatma Gandhi). It is also a place for those who are ready to learn how they can make little adjustments in their behavior to make a world of difference to the people they work with.
What I offer here comes from the heart and is for the heart. Because we could all use a little more love in our day to day living.
Help This Garden Grow
I am a one woman show. I own this website. I publish the blog. I write the book. (This sounds like a Barry Manilow song!) If you have the means, please be an angel and contribute funds to empower me to fill this website with resources from across the country to help the victims of sexual harassment, the companies they work for, and those who knowingly or unknowingly engage in sexual harassment and retaliation.
Always, in all ways, invest in Bloom,
Plum Blossom Creations