PUBLIC HARASSMENT: I WORKED FOR A SMALL…

I worked for a small nonprofit that relied on volunteers to get a lot of the work done. After I lost significant weight, one of the male volunteers who worked in the office several times a week started making unwelcome comments about my appearance, every time he saw me. This was extra complicated because one of his family members was a longtime beloved employee, and his partner was also a volunteer. I felt stuck and for a long time felt unable to do anything but not look at him when he made these comments and avoid him as much as possible. The worst day was when he made several of these comments in front of his family member and his partner. When I finally said something to my supervisor, the executive director, he was very surprised and asked why I didn’t say something sooner and directly to the person. He did talk with the person, who apologized to me and did not make those comments to me again. What I don’t recall is a strong expression of support from my supervisor for me, or regret/apology/acknowledgement that I felt unsafe coming to work — something like “I’m so sorry that this happened to you in our workplace!” would have gone a long way.

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