I have a very brave woman as our guest today on Guiltless Reading. Her story and the resulting book Spitting on Hans' Tosti resonated with me and I know it will affect and help many out there who have experienced the horrors of workplace sexual harassment. I hope that with this post we can blow the lid on a topic we often dare not talk about.
Don't forget to join in the author's giveaway for 2 copies of her book - open international.
Would you tell? Karin Bosman spills on sexual harassment & Spitting on Hans' Tosti
At first I didn’t realize that an assassin was coming for me, when I did it was too late.
Basically this is the reason why I decided to write this book Spitting on Hans' Tosti to share my personal experience about the horror that’s called sexual workplace harassment. It wasn’t easy to write about all the assaults, humiliations and my emotions, but it must be shared because sexual harassment steels your identity.
The taboo that rests on sexual workplace harassment is powerful–very powerful– and is tangible when you are dealing with it on a daily basis. Threats and emotional blackmail will prevent you from telling others. It’s very hard to accept that you are a victim and to let go of the thought that you must resolve this on your own. This is how my employer Hans unwittingly pulled me into a world of sadness and loneliness, faced with co-workers who looked the other way, afraid to lose their jobs. And there I lived for almost two years in isolation, disconnected from myself waiting until it blows over. But the silence and the fear empowered Hans to move forward in his intimidations. From an apparently stray kiss he now was able to assault me, captured in his web I couldn’t move.
When I finally opened up about everything that went on at work, my battle with humiliation went on. I had to deal with lies that were meant to belittle me on a whole new level. Investigations or mediation were non-negotiable for my employer Hans. The only way to end my situation and to make sure that this assassin never touches anybody in this way again, I had to go to court. Grateful for the co-workers who, despite all the pressure Hans exerted, provided their testimonies. But despite their testimonies and the evidence I managed to collect, not Hans but the company was on trial. So the judge could only point out that the actions of Hans where unacceptable. The legal term is lack of duty of care… I was left behind and confused because it seemed that Hans had collected a license for sexual workplace harassment. At that moment I knew that I had to bring out everything I have lived trough in the past two years and I allowed myself to break down on paper. By sharing my raw emotions, my sometimes maze-like sentences and my salty tears I discovered that I’m not the only one. Many people wrote me, men and women who recognize themselves in my story and motivated me to translate my book into English and to call for attention to the hundreds of thousands of people who are being sexual harassed in the workplace every day.
|The author, Karin Bosman.|
Besides the book I’m now globally advocating on sexual workplace harassment. In my presentations I demonstrate the power of bringing theory and practice together. Of course one of my missions is to make governments understand that offenders of sexual workplace harassment must be held responsible for this crime and for that we need an adjustment in the penal law.
Writing down everything that has happened to me, into the smallest details, was the only way to find her again, the women I was and lost somewhere along this road of sexual workplace harassment.
Spitting on Hans' Tosti: Sexual harassment at work, the real life story about unwelcome and unlawful behaviour in the workplace. The intimidations of sexual harassment unwittingly pull you into a world of sadness and loneliness. This story gradually reveals how an apparently stray kiss leads to degrading harassment.
All images courtesy of Karin Bosman.
This is a non-sponsored post. I feel that this topic and Karin Bosman's book and work on fighting against sexual harassment in the workplace are highly relevant and should be advocated widely.