I’m a statistic.
Years ago, I was called down to a bring music to my employer that would be needed for my performance later that day for a ballroom dance competition at the Great Gorge Playboy Club Hotel in NJ. To my surprise as the door opened all he was wearing was a towel.
I proceeded to hand him the music and felt myself being flung into the room on the bed wrestling to get him off me. All I can think of was how do I get out of here. The rest was a blur. It happened so quickly. I was scared and do not remember if I screamed or what followed. All I remember is I made my way out of the hotel room that day, but not without a few scars.
The scars that aren’t visible to others, but I am reminded of daily. The ones that I hid and hoped no one could see or find out about. I remember playing it over and over in my head. What did I do wrong? What did I do to provoke such an act? Why would he do that to me?
There was no answer that made sense. I had to compose myself and find a way to do what I was supposed to do there that weekend. I put a smile on my face and made believe nothing happened so I could go on to dance with my student in the competition.
I’m a Statistic of Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
I’m a statistic, 1 in 3 women are sexually harassed at work based on a recent poll. You may think it uncommon but the numbers are staggering. Most people are afraid to speak freely in the past before the Harvey Weinstein Hollywood scandal for fear of losing one’s job or being marred by their peers for doing so.
I decided to be the utmost professional at 18 years old and did what I was there to do, dance and said nothing. My employment at Arthur Murray’s Dance Studio was terminated immediately by the owner, “my attacker” following that weekend.
Within a week I took employment with a new dance studio that was owned by a woman. By this time, I had already had, not one but three sexual harassment situations in 3 years with older men that used force with me. It was no wonder that I thought I must have done something to deserve this inappropriate behavior.
I think back now and realize I was a young girl looking for approval. I didn’t know then that being myself would come with a price. That smiling and kidding around could be misconstrued as being open for more. I was pure and didn’t understand those that weren’t. Being told that “NO” meant “NO” was not heard by a select few.
I spent the next decade beating myself up for not knowing better and putting myself in these situations that someone could take advantage of me. I became very jaded and did not trust men. I started to get confused with what was mere flirting and what was sexual harassment. I eventually turned to food to find comfort that I couldn’t find elsewhere. I just wanted to die.
Today I regret not taking it further and reporting the attack. Had I made it public I may have been able to protect other young women that followed me over the decades that may have been prey to my employers’ sexual advances and promiscuity. It is sickening to think that he got away with it all these years and my fears prevented me from doing more to stop it from happening again to someone else.
Advice for those that follow me now.
Some decades later knowing what I know now, this is what I would like you to know.
Avoid being a statistic!!!!
- You are worthy and deserving of more!
- Value your own body because no one will do that for you!
- You do not need to give anything to get!
- If you truly have talent and do well at your job you do not have to give more of yourself to keep it.
- Do your best and out those that are trying to take advantage of their position using their power to manipulate you.
Put them on personal notice that it must stop. If it doesn’t immediately report them to HR or EEOC.
If necessary go to the authorities. Fortunately, due to the Harvey Weinstein horror stories companies are going to be more open to listen before it becomes more.
Today is a new day. I am fortunate that I have left the past behind me. I have a wonderful man in my life that I call my husband. I am surrounded by real gentlemen that love and respect me and the women around them. I have learned to value me and not let others do anything different from that. You can too!
No longer a statistic!!!
The good news is that this horrible, debilitating cycle can be broken now. You can feel good about yourself. In fact, you deserve to.
You can choose now to stop the cycle and avoid ever being another statistic. Feel like you are alone? Well you are not! I can help. Not in theory but in reality. I have helped hundreds before you and it is your turn now to move forward and live an authentic life now, happy, healthy & free!
If I can help you on your journey, reach out to us. I am here to serve you.