Advanced search

Trying to explain to DM this sounds like sexual harassment

(34 Posts)
SupSlick Sat 19-Mar-16 21:57:27

Okay, my mum confided in me today that a manager at her work has been making her feel very uncomfortable.

A few months ago when he started at my mums work, he complimented her quite a lot & I remember her mentioning how flattered she was, despite them both being married with kids & my mum being about 20 years older than this guy.

They seem to have had a good working relationship as they would go to the work cafe for breakfast together etc.

However, my mum has been really covering herself up lately (I mean she's no hussy, just she started wearing high neck jumpers with a cardigan over rather than round neck shirts) which I noticed as she seemed quite worried about it. She also was in my car the other day when this manager started calling her & it made her quite flustered.

Anyway today she confided that the other day in work, he whispered in her ear that she "looked hot". He also said to her not to worry about her weight because she's got "the chest" & touched my mums boob "accidentally". He has told her not to tell anyone about these conversations. He's also started calling her very frequently which she won't answer. And he's told her if he wasn't married he'd be "after" her.

Now my mum has become worried as whenever this manager comes into her office (she has her own office) he will close the blinds, and shut the door. He hugged her the other day after doing this but put his hands on her waist & she pulled away feeling very uncomfortable. But he pulled her back.

Now my mum is a chatty, bubbly person. However she also has manic depression from living with an EA husband (DF) & she is very insecure, and quite vulnerable at the moment with a lot of other stresses going on.

I kind of feel that this man is grooming her. She said she is worried about being alone with him, is feeling uncomfortable with him & his actions, and is dreading going into work because she is worried about it. But on the other hand, feels like she's encouraged it by feeling flattered originally.

I feel this man is taking it too far, and my mum is known at work for being quite sensitive (someone will criticise her & she will get very upset). But I feel like this is maybe another reason he is sort of "grooming" her, as he can easily turn around & say "oh she's taken it the wrong way again".

My mum didn't want to talk about it much as she knew I'd be quite angry on her behalf & wasn't opening up as easy as she would normally, so I suspect there is more.

She doesn't want to get him in trouble. I think she should log everything with times & dates & make sure she isn't alone with him.

Aibu not to advise her to go straight higher up? I know it would cause her stress but then I feel that she really needs to do something about this. If he's willing to blur appropriate boundaries & make my mum feel uncomfortable; then what other boundaries will he overstep.

And I've just remembered a debate with my mum the other week where out of the blue she asked if a girl was wearing something revealing & had been flirting, and then got raped - would it be the girls fault. I said you could tell a man foul mouthed things that you wanted to do to him, flash him your vagina & wiggle your boobs at him, but if you then said no, it's no & thats rape.

Okay now I'm worrying myself even more.

Help mumsnet. Aibu by giving my DM the wrong advice?

ajandjjmum Sat 19-Mar-16 22:00:55

I hope someone with some experience will come along and give you advice shortly, but in the meantime wanted to say what a lovely daughter you sound.

Lanark2 Sat 19-Mar-16 22:02:19

This sounds very clear to me. I have to admit if I were you I would try to pick up one of those calls and allow him to think you are your DM, record it and get some nice strong rope to hang him with.

SupSlick Sat 19-Mar-16 22:03:49

Ha oh don't, I'm a nightmare grin but it didn't realise how long that post was! I think I got into a stream of consciousness. Just a bit worried for her, we have our ups and downs but she seems to have been keeping this in & we both have anxiety so I know it's turning over in her mind constantly.

Thank you though ajandjjmum

Lanark2 Sat 19-Mar-16 22:04:57

And you can be a witness too..record what she has said to you, with dates if you can work it out, changes is dress, nervousness etc are all effects you need to record.

Lanark2 Sat 19-Mar-16 22:06:14

Stream of consciousness is great..esp. If it helps you remember events and signs that are significant...

SupSlick Sat 19-Mar-16 22:09:17

Maybe I should answer the call (doubt she'd let me... I don't think I could pretend to be her as I'm currently fighting tonsillitis & sound like a man) and maybe just say "sorry is this work related as otherwise it's a bit inappropriate" or something more sarcastic like "BACK OFF MY MUM YOU CREEP"

Really don't know how to handle this myself so I have no real idea what to say to my mum!

2Offwhitecurtains Sat 19-Mar-16 22:11:57

It is sexual harassment. You can advise your Mum as much as you like but it is ultimately up to her to take control and report him.

AnotherEmma Sat 19-Mar-16 22:13:51

Yes it's sexual harassment but if she is married to an emotionally abusive man (which she has probably been for many years, if he is your father) of course her boundaries and her sense of right and wrong are going to be completely fucked. He has conditioned her to believe that she is worthless and deserves to be treated like shit. Of course both your parents might believe that treating her like shit is a special right only reserved for your father hmm I suspect that she would never tell him about the harassment and would be terrified about him finding out. He would blame her of course.

Are you encouraging her to get support to heal from the emotional abuse and put a stop to it or end the marriage? If you just focus on the work problem you're ignoring the bigger issue.

suzannecaravaggio Sat 19-Mar-16 22:15:37

I have no real idea what to say to my mum
he sounds absolutely VILE angry

I agree it sounds as if he is grooming her, perhaps you could have a conversation with her about how these types of people operate, how the grooming process works, the incremental violation of boundaries, the way that the victim is manipulated into keeping quiet and feeling as if it is her fault.

If she understands this and can see how it has been used on her she will be in a better position to stand up to him

SupSlick Sat 19-Mar-16 22:25:08

Thank you everyone.

AnotherEmma I have persuaded my mum to leave my dad & it's happened three times. She even divorced him but they snuck away on holiday & got married again (he's good at acting the good guy when it suits). They also got legally separated, but have ended up lIving together again.

She's had a lot of counselling & CBT, as she also had a bad childhood. I love my mum to pieces, and have shown her a lot of mumsnet threads & websites about EA, as well a few books, & she admits my dad is EA. But financially feels she can't leave again. When it gets bad, she knows I'll open my door to her any time of night & she stays here, but ultimately she's so conditioned to think she couldn't cope alone & past attempts at leaving my dad have reinforced this way of thinking.

I've confronted my dad so many times about his behaviour, I even made a thread when my DS was younger and I was back living with them for a while, as he started his EA with me.

But I guess my mum's the sort of person who, if she got punched in the face by a total stranger for no reason, would sincerely & repeatedly apologise.

Hence why I feel this man is grooming her.

I think you're all right, I can inform her but ultimately its up to her.

I think she's so conditioned into thinking that her anxiety and depression means she can't rationalise, but she can. She just doesn't trust it.

AnotherEmma Sat 19-Mar-16 22:28:07

Oh dear confused I suppose there is only so much you can do for your mum. You've done a lot for her already - more than a daughter should have to do. It sounds like you've mothered her in a way. flowers

AnotherEmma Sat 19-Mar-16 22:29:19

Have you ever suggested that she does the Freedom Programme?

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 19-Mar-16 22:30:40

Your Mum's boss sounds utterly vile. How old is your Mum? Just wondering if he thinks "an older lady" is less likely to complain. (I used to work somewhere where it was "normal" for the men to pinch the secretaries' bottoms and they would giggle coyly. It took a female head of HR to witness this and to point out how inappropriate it was.)

SupSlick Sat 19-Mar-16 22:31:03

I suppose that's maybe why I feel like I should have some better advice than: "oh my god what a creep, log everything & don't be alone with him, what a weirdo, you could flash your boobs at the whole department, doesn't mean it's an invitation"

I would be extremely horrified if she took the boob advice though grin

suzannecaravaggio Sat 19-Mar-16 22:46:00

I used to work somewhere where it was "normal" for the men to pinch the secretaries' bottoms and they would giggle coyly
oh dear sad
ugh, it sounds like 'on the buses' sad

UnderTheGreenwoodTree Sat 19-Mar-16 22:49:31

Awful for your poor mum.

I'd want to do what the psycho woman does in Single White Female when the boss harasses Bridget Fond (but I probably wouldn't.)

SupSlick Sat 19-Mar-16 22:52:11

What does she do underthegreenwoodtree! I'm open to all suggestions!

Freedom programme has been an idea in the past. I might suggest we do it together.

AnotherEmma Sat 19-Mar-16 22:55:13

Do you need to do it? Or would you just go with her to make sure she actually went?!

NobodyNoseWhatMyNoseNose Sat 19-Mar-16 22:56:52

Her self-protection spider senses are tingling - and generally this happens for a reason. She needs to know that whatever she feels (wrongly) she has done in the past this does not allow him to make her feel uncomfortable and touch her/harrass her. He is sooo in the wrong it is untrue. Show her these.

Useful if she feels it is her fault because of how she dressed (it is not her fault)…

To utterly explain that if she is not consenting (to sex, tea, being touched) then it is not acceptable

Easily understood leaflet from the Citizens Advice.

Get her on Monday to ask her HR dept for the harassment policy. Encourage her to follow it.

SupSlick Sat 19-Mar-16 22:57:28

Moral support really, I wouldn't want to take the space where someone who needs it could have been there. But mostly as her confidence is ridiculously low & I think she'd not go as she'd feel she was causing a fuss/didn't need it. Plus my dad would go apeshit if he knew what it was.

UnderTheGreenwoodTree Sat 19-Mar-16 23:00:34

Oh, she rings him at home, (he's married with kids)and is basically so scary and threatening - tells him she'll fuck him up if he ever touches Bridget Fonda again, or something - and afterwards, Bridget Fonda (who was listening in) said "gee, I hope I never get on the wrong side of you".

A nice thought though.

SupSlick Sat 19-Mar-16 23:08:15

Thank you so much for the links nobodynose

And I actually wish my mum had it in her to have a go at him like in the film! Although she sounded quite scared of him.

suzannecaravaggio Sat 19-Mar-16 23:10:44

her confidence is ridiculously low
thing is you just know that mr sleaze's radar makes him zoom in on any weakness like a predator with a wounded animal, he's just toying with her to make himself feel more powerful, getting a buzz out of making her feel uncomfortable and compromised

if only she could just 'turn' and punch his lights out or something

AnotherEmma Sat 19-Mar-16 23:11:44

Sorry to say this OP but your mum sounds like a bit of a lost cause sad Obviously you don't want to give up her because she's your mum. But she's chosen to go back to him time and time again. You've supported her but even with your support she hasn't been able to break free mentally, let alone physically. You can take a horse to water...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now