Share Your Story
Once I started sharing my journey with sexual harassment and the retaliation that often comes from standing up against it with friends and colleagues, much to my sadness, almost every one of them had a story, their own journey, that they shared with me. Women are not alone in this plight. Sexual harassment happens to all humans – male, female and transgender.
I believe that we need to be the change. We need to help our harassers learn a better way to relate to us, especially in the workplace. This is a two-part process.
First, we need to tell our stories so that they can be known, because some harassers are not aware that their words, actions and behaviors are not OK.
Once we become aware that there is a problem with our words, actions and behaviors, then we can make the choice to change, to replace the bad with the good. But for those who thought what they had been doing was OK, they may not know what the “good” is. Those of us that have gone through this have the power to help each other know what the alternative options are.
So, second, in addition to sharing the pain of what happened, we also need to share the alternative story – what should have been done? what could have been done? what would life be like if the should haves and could haves had happened? – so that we can all learn that there is a solution. There is healing in sharing the answers to these 3 questions.
Two things happen: we realize that there is a way out of our own pain AND we empower those that need to learn new habits of mind and action with a whole list of alternatives so that they can make better choices in the moment, the next time.
If you want to share your story, please share it here. Please refrain from using your name or any other identifying information. We will remove all references to names and workplaces, and cities so that we can learn from you without doing further harm to you and those around you.
If you are interested in reading other peoples’s stories, search the blog for the tags “It happens to women” and “It happens to men.” One of my dearest mentors shared his story with me and has given me permission to share it with you. Read “One Man’s Story.”
Thank you for sharing and helping others to bloom!