Below is a story of a lady who was sexually harassed and coming out to share her story with TOC. Names have been changed.
My name is Jane Doe and in my 20s. I am a dental nurse by profession for the last 5 years. I have had good work experiences at my previous clinic until I joined this new dental clinic.
My nightmare began 2 months ago. My abuser, was my employer and boss. Let’s call him Dr Bad Breath aka Dr BB. (PS: He has a very bad case of halitosis). Dr BB is a prominent Dentist and also married man in his 50s with 3 children.
Dr BB would touch me inappropriately on my shoulders and even on my thighs using his dirty gloved hands and sometimes without. I made it known to him that these actions were unwanted and unwelcomed but he persisted. I also noticed him touching other female staff and patients inappropriately. I asked myself why no one confronted him about this. I could not understand why.
I even reported this to him directly in front of a female Human Resource (HR) staff, Fatty. Twice. But nothing was done. Fatty was completely useless. Instead, Dr BB punished and tormented me further, by rostering me 2 weeks straight with him.
Dr BB controlled the entire HR team who ironically were all girls. It’s sad that they did not stand up and do the right thing and instead were all in cahoots with him.
The last meeting I had, Dr BB was with his bodyguard, Fatty again. Dr BB somehow admitted that he has “stopped” touching me or anyone because whenever he has the urge to touch, he would remind himself of my words to him about him being “touchy”, he will then stop himself. Is this person sick or what?
I was very disturbed and could not eat or sleep well because of these numerous episodes. I felt stressed going into work and had no one to confide in.
Fortunately, I reached out to AWARE who were very supportive. And I even went to see a doctor about this. The doctor was very kind and referred me for counselling. When I reported this to the police, I was fired on the spot after the police made a call to him. I am a employment pass holder and I had that taken away together with my PR application going up in smoke.
This probably explains why so many sexual harrassment cases go unreported, because the system doesn’t protect the victims or offer speedy recourse. I felt that my initial report at the police station was brushed off and not taken seriously. The police officer even asked if I was indeed sexually harassed. This was the first time it happened to me, I was also trying to make sense of everything. I definitely felt completely disrespected and was made to question myself repeatedly. This matter also put a strain on my relationship with my Boyfriend.
Life isn’t fair. My abuser, could carry on his life as normal and even enjoyed himself with his wife at a recent Ferrari Owner’s Club Gala.
I never thought that sexual harrassment would ever happen to me especially at the workplace when it was supposed to be a safe and professional environment. But it did. What happened insulted/outraged my modesty and I want my story told. For all the girls out there who are too afraid to come forward. I pray for abusers as such to face justice and prosecuted by the law.
For those are share the same situation as Jane Doe, you may consider AWARE’s Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Advisory (WHDA).
It is a free service providing advice and support (both practical and emotional) to individuals facing discrimination or harassment at the workplace.
Aware’s WHDA will guide you through all your various options, internal or external—including approaching your company’s HR or the Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), or filing a mediation request with the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM). Conversations will be kept strictly private and AWARE will never contact your employer.
Call 6950 9191, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.