When I started uni, I moved to a new city and got my first bar job. It’s the first time I’d even been welcomed so warmly into such a close-knit group. What I didn’t realise at first was just how toxic and sexist that environment was.
I would get harassed every day by my male colleagues, whether they be my peers or managers they would comment on my clothes saying “your bum looks good today” or “you should wear those trousers more often.” And I let them get away with it for so long. One colleague, who is now my best friend, left at the right time and she kept telling me to leave and get a job “anywhere but there” and I didn’t. I should have. But I didn’t.
And I left it too late.
A colleague of mine took advantage of me whilst I was incapacitated. I don’t remember it all. He took me home from the gathering. No one thought anything of it, just a friend taking a friend home. Then he assaulted me in my own house. I only remember it in scattered segments.
I blamed myself for so long, that it was all my fault because I should have found a different job sooner. That maybe I gave the wrong message in my blacked-out state. Then I realised that he was supposed to be a friend, a colleague. I wasn’t in any state to say yes or no and he should have seen that. The number of times I would walk home afraid of strangers, I didn’t even realise that the men closest to me would be capable of doing such a thing.
Words by Anonymous