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To report him after all this time? Sexual harassment in the workplace.

(42 Posts)
Jonsey79 Tue 07-Nov-17 21:43:46

Long time lurker, first time poster. Naice ham, rude beaker, cancelling cheques etc.

I work in education and nearly 20 years ago I was regularly harassed by a man working regularly in my school on behalf of the LA. Whenever I saw him I had to put up with vile, sleazy looks and sexually explicit comments. He was frequently in school. He came to lots of assemblies, events etc. He would also turn up regularly after school and wander in and out of the classrooms of the female teachers. We used to leave the room to get rid of him.

There was never anything physical but there is no doubt that his behaviour and comments were sexual harassment. I reported him once but nothing happened. His behaviour was tolerated. Everyone knew about it.

I've long since moved on but I have never forgotten it. I feel very angry about it. These days I would never tolerate it but things were different back then.

I can still clearly remember lots of things he said to me, such as, as I was crouching to tie my shoelace, "I like my women down on their knees". He licked his lips. It was stuff like this all the time.

I've googled him and he's still working in the community.

My question is, after all this time, would it be unreasonable to report him for sexual harassment? And to whom? Or should I just let it go. I don't imagine he's changed much. What to do?

EleanorXx Tue 07-Nov-17 21:46:22

I have no advice sorry, but i couldn't read and run. flowers he sound awful, what a horrible situation

JeReviens Tue 07-Nov-17 21:49:50

What would you hope to achieve by doing so - and what do you expect anyone to do about it after all this time?

flumpybear Tue 07-Nov-17 21:51:22

I’d want to do something too as it may still be going on

ChevalierTialys Tue 07-Nov-17 21:53:01

If hes still working in the community, and you reporting it could prevent someone else from being his next target, then I personally think it would be worth reporting.

Jonsey79 Tue 07-Nov-17 21:53:19

This is why I'm hesitating. I would like to stop him from having the opportunity to carry on with his behaviour. I imagine he probably still behaves in the same way with women he comes into contact with. But you're right, after all this time there probably isn't much that can be done.

Porpoises Tue 07-Nov-17 21:54:47

Id report it in case there are other reports too, they would add together to provide evidence of a pattern of behaviour.

Jonsey79 Tue 07-Nov-17 21:55:16

If I did report him, would it be to the police? His current employer? I'm wondering about contacting some former colleagues. We could join forces.

Jonsey79 Tue 07-Nov-17 21:56:27

As an aside, it's really reassuring that no one has dismissed what happened.

mrsharrison Tue 07-Nov-17 21:56:43

As someone who's reported and been let down by the judicial process my advice would be to not report -it's a horrific experience.
However you could send him a letter/email telling him what you think of him. At least he'd be looking over his shoulder and stopping his vile behaviour.

Splinterz Tue 07-Nov-17 22:00:11

You report to the Police, and yes, I would

Splinterz Tue 07-Nov-17 22:02:06

* I'm wondering about contacting some former colleagues. We could join forces.*

That's harassment, coercement and possibly slander as he (presumably) hasn't been convicted (yet)

JeReviens Tue 07-Nov-17 22:04:07

Report to the Police for smutty comments 20 years ago? So I'll ask again - what do you expect them to do? They can hardly keep up with violent crime, rape, terrorism, burglary and you want them to drop everything and investigate some sexually loaded words from TWO decades ago?

AnnieAnoniMouse Tue 07-Nov-17 22:15:20

The world was a different place 20 years ago.

I can't believe you'd consider reporting someone for making smutty comments that were very common place.

There's no reason to think he hasn't changed with the times, and if not, I'm sure if he makes an unwelcome comment to someone they can deal with it.

If people reported all smutty comments & inuendo made 20 years ago most of us would be reported and we'd need another whole administration to deal with it.

PiffleandWiffle Tue 07-Nov-17 22:15:31

Report to the Police for smutty comments 20 years ago? So I'll ask again - what do you expect them to do? They can hardly keep up with violent crime, rape, terrorism, burglary and you want them to drop everything and investigate some sexually loaded words from TWO decades ago?

This.

It actually belittles the cause of those that were actually abused & gives credence to the people that are writing off all the allegations as "bloody women moaning about nothing".

Nicknacky Tue 07-Nov-17 22:18:11

There is nothing the police can do about smutty comments and feeling uncomfortable. Regardless if it is now or 20 years ago. Not everything is a criminal offence.

Jonsey79 Tue 07-Nov-17 22:20:34

*Splinterz

* I'm wondering about contacting some former colleagues. We could join forces.*

That's harassment, coercement and possibly slander as he (presumably) hasn't been convicted (yet)*

I hadn't thought of it this way. I'm still friends with some of the women I worked with then and we have talked about him recently and said how we wished he could be held to account.

Nottheduchessofcambridge Tue 07-Nov-17 22:21:04

No I wouldn’t report him for smutty comments made 20 years ago. You weren’t raped, abused, touched, he didn’t pull you aside and proposition you. He didn’t mentally abuse you. I would move on.

JeReviens Tue 07-Nov-17 22:22:59

What a relief to see the last three sensible comments here! Sometimes I think it's just me ffs.

The world WAS a different place 20 years ago. I'd have told him to fuck off in no uncertain terms but maybe that's just me.

Now I'm just off to hunt down the man who called me a fat miserable cunt back in 1983. I don't think I deserved that grin

Jonsey79 Tue 07-Nov-17 22:23:05

To the other pps, fair enough. This is precisely why I needed a sounding board. You're probably right. I was sexually assaulted as a student and I know that this is nothing in comparison.

Perhaps I will write to him.

Thanks for all your comments.

Nicknacky Tue 07-Nov-17 22:24:14

Why write to him? Just move on and forget about it, he's a creep but you are long out of it.

dailyshite Tue 07-Nov-17 22:25:06

I suspect that there are lots of men out there right now, re-examining their behaviour and feeling pretty ashamed and anxious about being called out on it.

The insidious nature of sexual harassment in the 80s and 90s was fucking awful, but also so widespread and taken for granted that I'm not sure that there's a great deal that can be done about it now, unless perhaps we are talking about sexual assault rather than harassment and sleazy behaviour. I'm reassured that as a society we are realising that this was never OK and that the young people I work with and my nieces are horrified and can't believe how much went on and the general attitude that we had to just get on with it.

PiffleandWiffle Tue 07-Nov-17 22:32:28

Perhaps I will write to him

I honestly wouldn't bother - you're just as likely to give him something to feel pleased about, get off on or he just won't know who the hell you are or what you're going on about.

I think the best you can hope for is a tut as he throws your letter in the bin with the rest of the crap in his letter box.

I do think you need to move on though, it's not particularly to obsess for this long...

Domino20 Tue 07-Nov-17 22:42:30

I have a similar dilemma regarding a former tutor when I was a mature student, some 17 years ago. He propositioned me while simultaneously letting me know that he could tell who had written which exam paper, by their hand writing. I googled him a few days ago, he still remains in his job and also holds a position of some importance on a national commission. At the time I thought he was a sad old geezer and laughed it off. I do however see that not everyone he encounters would have the same foolish confidence that I possessed. It's only now striking me that the comments about fixing exam papers could be construed as a threat as well as an enticement. I have considered reporting it to the university. I don't know?

Jonsey79 Tue 07-Nov-17 22:49:01

Thanks again for all the comments. Plenty to think about. I know it's probably not wise to obsess over it, and I'm not really. But I have thought about it quite a bit recently because of what's been in the press I suppose.

No, it wasn't that bad. But it happened at least weekly, often daily, for more than 3 years.

I suppose that in writing to him I might make him be more cautious and less arrogant. If he is still behaving in this way (I hope he isn't but I bet he is) then it might make him think twice.

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