OBJECTIFICATION STORIES




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PERSISTENT UNWANTED PURSUITS

Where did this happen?

When I went through a divorce, the ATT technician used the password in the router he installed to copy my cell number and email and repeatedly harass me. This is such a long, long story and this man is now in prison for his crimes and harassment.

What happened?

Before I go into the story I was actually wondering if I could use the power of your website to stop the harassment that continues to happen. My stalker found compromising photos of me taken in my young 20s. I am now close to 50, a mother of teens, and I have a career and when I took these pictures I posed for an amateur camera club, this was in the days before the internet and digital pictures and believe me I had no idea how the past would come back to hurt me and my children. This man researched me using my maiden name, which he illegally obtained and ruthlessly and non stop sent me sexual, degrading texts and emails under anonymous numbers, and sometimes by "spoofing." Spoofing is when you can make it look like someone from your contact list is contacting you. For many months I had no idea who was harassing me, and after this man sent my photo to my then twelve year old daughter, I went to the police. Going to the police is a slow process because you have to obtain a restraining order, convince the police you are in need of their limited forensics resources, and basically wait for a very skilled sociopath to make a mistake that is traceable. This man abused his power at ATT to break into my email, my work sign in system, my cell phone and followed me and my children around. I feel like I'm jumping around with the details, it is just so much to share and it is so upsetting. This predator tried to blackmail me into a sexual relationship with him when he uncovered these photos and posted these pictures on multiple websites. There is something called DMCA laws (digital millennial copyright act) which states that if a copy does not have a legal release they cannot post your photos, but this company is not adhering to this. Can I reach out to this company, through you, in order to have these photos come down once and for all?

How did you feel?

Awful and I still feel awful. If I see someone who looks in any way like this man I feel like the shock and stress brings me right back to how it felt to be utterly objectified and victimized.

What was your reaction?

When this man hurt my daughter a fierce survivor in me kicked in, and despite the damage he did to me and tried to do to me, I faced this man and testified so he could go to prison.

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

It's very difficult to tell my story in detail. I only want to say that I feel like less of a person still, and less of a mother because this man totally humiliated me and violated my privacy in a way that is hard for me to come back from. I want to continue healing and I am in therapy, but it's a long road and I'm not there yet. The closest thing I can compare this too is a complete rape of someone's life. I identify with rape victims because this person took away my right to shut his sexual sickness out of my life, and when I contacted ATT in order to obtain a restraining order from him, he made it his mission to retaliate.

melissa lee
Healer
Essex, Ct

PERSISTENT UNWANTED PURSUITS

Where did this happen?

Dr. B's office

What happened?

Dr. B asked me one day in a therapy session in his office, which was located in the basement of his home, if I would allow him to touch my breast.

Who was the offender?

My therapist

How did you feel?

I felt powerless and confused.

What was your reaction?

I told him I would not let him touch my breast, but that he could sit next to me and put his hand on my leg as we talked.

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

My husband and I, had been married a year, at that time Andrew, felt that we needed help navigating our relationship and he asked his mother for a recommendation(she was a psychologist)in the local area and she gave us Dr.B's number (He was a well known Doctor serving a addiction recovery center in Westport, Ct, along with having a private practice) At about the 6 month mark my husband felt like we had worked thru a lot of the original issues that had come up, so he wanted to stop seeing Dr.B, I felt like I was just getting started, as I had a lot of abuse and neglect as a child and I felt I need more time to work thru those issues. I stayed on and my husband stopped the couples therapy and I continued in going on my own. It was some time after that (within the next year of my individual therapy) that Dr. B asked me one day after sitting down to a session if he could touch my breast. Keep in mind I was 26 at that time and he was 70. It was only after I left Connecticut to move to Santa Fe, Nm 12 years later that I was able to free myself from his abuse that went on in different ways, (there are ways that perpetrators grown their victims) for a total of 12 years. I took action many years later to try to have him take responsibility for what he had done, and the statues of limitations had been expired for over 11 years at that point, (unless the lawyers said I could find others that he had done this too)? He died 3 years ago and now I am feel free to talk about what he did. There is more to how he not only groomed me but other family members(my mother in law and father in law and sister in law, too). When I came forward to my mother in law she said she suspected something was not right with him and she was going to call the licensing board, but knew I was still seeing him and did not want to go thru with her complaint. I have just recently really allowed myself to feel all that he took from me, including the possibility of saving my marriage and healing of my childhood abuse (which I later accomplished with a sane and healthy therapist). I hope one day to talk in a larger formate about therapist abuse. I have been an active healer for individuals that have goon thru childhood trauma for 10 years now. I can truly say that having a voice, is what has healed me deeply. Speak up and tell your truth, what ever it is. That is truly unconditional love for yourself and for all others.

Hugs and Kisses
Melissa Lee

Melda J. Bashien
Social services industry
New York

IN THE WORKPLACE

Where did this happen?

UPS secaucus new jersey

What happened?

I was a part-time supervisor who trained package handlers and I was in a truck with a co-worker (he was also a part-time supervisor). While we were both speaking with the employee who was loading the truck, I asked the employee a question, I don't remember the exact question that I asked him, but I know that it had something to do with questions regarding how he thought he could do to improve his truck loading performance. My co-worker suggested, "why don't you take off your shirt to give him some motivation." I felt like my entire body wanted to disappear from the area. I was so humiliated and embarrassed. When I approached my co-worker later that day in the office, he told me "oh don't take everything so personal, it was only a joke."
This happened so many years ago and when I think about it, it still bothers me because I wanted to punch him square in his stupid face. Violence is not the cure for anything, but I always imagined how right it would have felt to knock his ass straight to the floor with one punch.

Who was the offender?

a co-worker

How did you feel?

I felt like my entire body wanted to disappear from the area. I was so humiliated and embarrassed.

What was your reaction?

I stayed quiet while in the truck because I was shocked that he said that in while we were in the presence of the employee.

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

I was a part-time supervisor who trained package handlers and I was in a truck with a co-worker (he was also a part-time supervisor). While we were both speaking with the employee who was loading the truck, I asked the employee a question, I don't remember the exact question that I asked him, but I know that it had something to do with questions regarding how he thought he could do to improve his truck loading performance. My co-worker suggested, "why don't you take off your shirt to give him some motivation." I felt like my entire body wanted to disappear from the area. I was so humiliated and embarrassed. When I approached my co-worker later that day in the office, he told me "oh don't take everything so personal, it was only a joke." This happened so many years ago and when I think about it, it still bothers me because I wanted to punch him square in his stupid face. Violence is not the cure for anything, but I always imagined how right it would have felt to knock his ass straight to the floor with one punch.

J Jones
Fashion Designer & Uber Driver
Charlotte, NC and NYC

INAPPROPRIATE CONVERSATION

Where did this happen?

While I was driving Uber

What happened?

I picked up a group of 6 men. Before everyone was in the vehicle and as I was getting out of the vehicle to give the riders access to the third row of seats, one of the riders rudely demanded I get out and help them get the seats lowered for them to get in. I opened the back seats and as the trip progresses the same rider was reaching from the back seat to the front seat attempting to adjust the sunroof controls. I asked him not to touch the controls because it was a distraction to me driving. His friend explained he was drunk. After that he became even more obnoxious. He and one of the other passengers began making vagina jokes. I told them that if they were going to be disrespectful I would have to to let them out so that they can request a new ride. They then stopped making the vagina jokes. But the rider continued to try and antagonize me. This was the first time I have felt unsafe as an uber driver and the riders behavior was unacceptable. I reported the incident to Uber and they said they are investigating the matter.

Who was the offender?

2 of the Uber Riders

How did you feel?

Uncomfortable, vulberable, angry and u safe

What was your reaction?

I told them to stop being disrespectful or they would have to get out of my car.

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

I picked up a group of 6 men. Before everyone was in the vehicle and as I was getting out of the vehicle to give the riders access to the third row of seats, one of the riders rudely demanded I get out and help them get the seats lowered for them to get in. I opened the back seats and as the trip progresses the same rider was reaching from the back seat to the front seat attempting to adjust the sunroof controls. I asked him not to touch the controls because it was a distraction to me driving. His friend explained he was drunk. After that he became even more obnoxious. He and one of the other passengers began making vagina jokes. I told them that if they were going to be disrespectful I would have to to let them out so that they can request a new ride. They then stopped making the vagina jokes. But the rider continued to try and antagonize me. This was the first time I have felt unsafe as an uber driver and the riders behavior was unacceptable. I reported the incident to Uber and they said they are investigating the matter.

Susan R Green
Attorney
Baltimore

IN THE WORKPLACE

What happened?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.legaljuice.com/amp/2008/05/male_lawyer_call_female_lawyer_1.html

Who was the offender?

Opposing counsel

How did you feel?

The attorney consistently engaged in demeaning behavior that was compromising my ability to represent my client. I was angry

What was your reaction?

I filed a motion for a protective order

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

The article covers it

AT JOB INTERVIEWS OR REVIEWS

Where did this happen?

AT A JOB INTERVIEW

What happened?

I HAD BEEN THROUGH ONE INTERVIEW WITH A WIMAN, AMD IT WENT OK.
I WAS TOLD THAT THIS WOMAN WANTED ME TO MEET WITH HER BOSS, THE PRESIDENT OF HER COMPANY.
JE CAME IN AND I WAS SITTING IN A CHAIR. HE DIDNT SIT AT HIS DESK. INSTEAD HE WALKED VERY SLOWLY TOWARDS ME, AND CIRCLED AROUND ME, NOT SAYING A WORD.
THIS WAS WIRD I THOUGHT. HE WAS AN OLDER ITALIAN MAN WITH AM ITALIAN ACCENT. I OPENED MY FOLDER, TO GIVE HIM A COPY OF MY RESUME AMD HE DIDNT EVEN LOOK AT IT. IT TOSSED IT ON HIS DESK.
HE SAID LET ME SHOW YOU THE REST OF THE SHOWROOM.
WE WENT INTO ANOTHER ROOM, HE CLOSED THE DOWN ANS I HAD MY BACK TO HIM AS I WAS GOING TO SIT DOWN.
I SAT IN THE CHAIR, AND GASPED (SILENTLY)
AS HE ALREADY HAD HIS PANTS OFF AND WAS MASTURBATING.
MY GOD, THIS WAS SO LONG AGO. HE WAS FINISHED, AND CLEANED UP FAST . HE SAID WE WILL SEE YOU AT 9AM TOMORROW.
MY MOTHER DROVE ME TO THE JOB AND I WAS SO UPSET. MY MOTHER, SAID IF I DIDNT TAKE THIS JOB.... I WOULD BE PUNISHED.
I WENT IN TO WORK FOR THIS MONSTER AND STAYED ABOUT 2 HRS.
I TOLD HIM I QUIT. I WALKED OUT AND REMEMBER CRYING AND WALKING FOR A LONG TIME.

Who was the offender?

A MAN THAT INTERVIEWED ME

How did you feel?

READ ABOVE

What was your reaction?

READ ABOVE

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

READ ABOVE

Morgan Rossi
Account executive
San Francisco

AT SCHOOL

Where did this happen?

Ballet Class

What happened?

I was probably 14 and had little partner dance experience. An older boy I knew gave me a hug when class began. His hand lingered on my back then slid down my butt.

Who was the offender?

A teenage boy

How did you feel?

Angry. Immature. Confused. Grossed out.

What was your reaction?

We had to dance together in classes for several years. I acted like an asshole to him from there on out. He always played the victim when I wouldn't greet him with hugs.

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

It made me feel like the asshole, even though I knew I wasn't. Later, someone described him as a creep, and I knew it wasn't just me.

YOGA TEACHER/SALES
BAYSIDE

FORCED SEXUAL INTERACTION

Where did this happen?

In a my ex-dentist’s office.

What happened?

I was given gas, which I always got, because I had so much painful profited to have done. But this time I was over drugged. I was out of it, no know omg was happening.

Who was the offender?

A current practicing NYC Dentist

How did you feel?

SHOCKED, REPULSED AND AFRAID.

What was your reaction?

AFTER I CAME OUT OF IT, I REALIZED I WAS TIED UPAND HAD BLANKETS OVER ME.
AT THAT TIME, I “BEHAVED” “LIKE A GOOD GIRL”.
AFRAID OF STRAIGHT MEN, AND ITS AWFUL TO SAY THIS BUT DID WHATEVER WAS ASKED OF ME. I HAD ZERO SELF ESTEEM AND ZERO CONFIDENCE.
SO I TRIED TO BE QUIET AND “BEHAVE”—THIS WAS HOW I ACTUALLY

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

OMG, THIS IS EMBARRASSING,
AND HUMILIATING, BUT IT IS PART OF MY STORY.
MY FATHER PAID FOR MY DENTAL WORK. HE HAS MOST OF MY LIFE. HE TOLD ME AT ONE TIME THAT HE WOULD PAY TO “FIX “MY TEETH. I DIDNT THINK THERES WAS ANYTHING WRING WITH MY TEETH, BUT OK. BESIDES HAVING CAPS REDONE, THERE WERE ROOT CANALS ARTC.HE SENT ME TO HIS DENTIST. THIS WAS A LONG TIME AGO, BIT THAT DOESNT MATTER. THIS DENTIST ALWAYS GAVE ME WAY TOO MAY COMPLIMENTS. ALWAYS ABOUT MY BODY, HOW I DR SSES, I SAID “THANK YOU” THATS IT. YEARS LATER, A DENTIST THAT I USED FEOM MY INSURANCE COMPANY FROM A JOB I HAD THEN., EXTRS TED TEETH THAT LATER I FOUND OUT DIDNT HAVE TO BE EXTRACT D. MY FATHERS AND MY RELATIONSHIP WAS OFF AND ON MY ENTIRE KIFE. HEWOULD, NOT SPEAK TO ME, BECAUSE HE WAS EITHER BECOMING G EVEN MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN HE WAS. OR WORKING ON WIFE 3 OR 4 PLUS ALL THE EXTRA GIRLFRIENDS...

AFTER NOT SEEING HIM AWHILE, WE HAD LUNCH AND I BRIEFLY TOLD HIM I NEEDED TO GO TO A DENTIST THAT WAS GOOD.
HE NAMED THE FIRST DENTIST I SPEAK ABOUT (SEE ABOVE) MY DAD AID , “LISTEN, I KNOW HE HITS ON WOMEN, BUT SO WHAT HES A GOOD DENTIST!”
BACK I WENT TO THE “GOOD DENTIST THAT HIT ON WOMEN”

IT WAS A LATER WINTER NIGHT. THIS DENTIST SENT ALL THE NIRSES AND STAFF HOME EARLY. HE TOLD EVERYONE GO HONE AMD BE WOTH YOUR FAMILIES...” I DIDNT PAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION..
I GOT NOVACAIN (MAYBE IT WAS SOMETHING ELSE?)
AND GAS... I LOST CONTROL ... BODY AND MIND...
REMEMBER I HAD EXTRACTIONS... ALOT OF THEM.
I THOUGHT I COULD MOVE MY ARMS, BUTI COULDNT I DIDNT REALIZEO WAS TIED UP. MY MOUTH WAS PRYED OPEN WOTH SOME APPARATUS-THAT IT FELT (BEFORE THE DRUGS HIT) LINE I WAS A HIPPOPATAMUS WITH MY MOUTH OPENED SOOO WIDE.
I COULDNT OPEN MY EYES, THEY WERE HEAVY ..BUT I TRIED ...I HAY D BEING SO DRUGGED...I WAS ABLE TO FORCE MY EYES OPEN DOR A SECOND OR SO, AND THE DENTIST HAD HIS OANTS DOWN AMD WAS MASTURBATING AND THEM SHOVED HIS PENIS INTO MY MOUTH.
I WENT “OUT AGAIN “ AND WOKE UP AND REALIZED WHAT HAPPENED A WAITING FOR THE ROPES TO BE CUT OFF OF ME A STO SLOWLY GO TO THE LADIES ROOM AND SLOWLY SAID BYE.

THERE WAS NO DENTAL WORK DONE. MY DAD ASKED”HOED DID IT GO?”
I SAID SOMETHING HAPPENED...”MY DAD SAID, SO WHAT SET HIM STRAIGHT” ILL PAY IF YOU GO BACK TO HIM.
I WENT BACK TO HIM (I CRINGE AS I WRITE THIS)
I SAID LETS GET MY DENTAL WORK DONE AND FORGET ABOUT THE PAST.
HE SAID THERES NO PAST...
AFTER THAT APPT. I COULDNT GO BACK.
I WROTE MY DAD AN EMAIL AND WAS SPECIFIC HE SAIDIN THE EMAIL “GO AWAY, LEAVE ME ALONE”I STILL HAVE THESE EMAILS, I WROTE BACK FURIOUS!!I SAID I AM YOUR DAUGHTER!
HE WROTE BACK THAT IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT HAPPENED. HE WAS PISSED OFF ABOUT THE MONEY HE SPENT FOR THE DENTAL WORK.
FOR THE FIRST TIIME IN MY LIFE, ABOUT 2 WEEKS AGO , I BROKE A TOOTH AND MADE AN APPT. HAD IT FIXED AND USED MY ONLY SAVINGS AND PAID FOR IT MYSELF.

AGAIN...THIS IS PANDORA’S BOX...THERE ARE SO MANY TRUE STORIES THAT I HAVE. ONE STORY AT A TIME.

SALES/YOGA TEACHER
BAYSIDE

INAPPROPRIATE CONVERSATION

Where did this happen?

See my first part to this story...this is part 2....

What happened?

Read Part 1...of my story...this is part 2

Who was the offender?

MY FATHER

How did you feel?

Read part 1 od my story...this is part 2

What was your reaction?

Please read part 1...of my story...this is part 2

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

This is part 2 of my story.
The day I wrote Part 1 of my story, I received an email from my Father, screaming at me...I sat screaming because , that’s how I read it. It saidNo more paying for you for anything. Currently he pays for my maintenance. In an apt that I own. No more, Dentist (I have extensive needed dental work, that he was going to pay for) The email went on and on.
It was as if I was his ex-wife. Not, his daughter.
There was never any parenting with my Father.
Only a very uncomfortable (for me) relationship with a person who is a classic narcissist.
Instead of panicking, feel crazy, and anxiety ridden, after reading this horrendous email... I felt calm, I knew I was going to be just fine.
I was shocked at this new feeling I have.
I have no idea how I will support myself. I do not make nearly enough to pay my bills. But again, this serene, quiet feeling makes me believe that it will all work out. There is so much more, I have to add.
As, your can imagine, my Father, influenced my relationships with alcohol, drugs (anything to escape) and my relationships with men.
I am sober (many many years) but my relationships with men were and are such a struggle. Recently, (2 yrs ago) I fell in Love for the first time...we were together everyday and night for 9 months.
It ended abruptly, my heart was broken and I cried my eyes out forfor 22 yrs. I will continue writing and adding.
This is PANDORA’S 📦 BOX.

Journalist
Philadelphia, PA

IN THE WORKPLACE

Where did this happen?

Work

What happened?

I had to deal with an abusive, sexist, misogynist "boss".

Who was the offender?

New Boss

How did you feel?

This experience truly affected me. I'm college educated and earned my way to the position I was forced to leave. In no way was anything ever handed to me on a silver platter. I've lost so much, including myself, in the process. An experience like what I went through can be very lonely. I urge other women in this business to share their stories. Times are different now thanks to other women who have spoken out about dirty powerful men in this business. Please make your voice heard!

What was your reaction?

Anger, frustration, disgust, disappointment.

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

I was working at one of the largest tv news markets in the country. As is common in this business, news directors come and go often. In 2012 a new ND arrived, and from day one, this new "boss" made it clear that major changes were about to take place. I happened to be on vacation when he started working so when I got back, I made an appointment to meet with him so I could introduce myself. I remember it like it was yesterday. I walked into his office and immediately noticed that he wouldn't even look at me. He had a disgusted look on his face but made sure not to make any eye contact with me. I introduced myself and welcomed him to the city. His first words to me were, "How did you get here?" He clearly was not asking if I drove or walked to work, he meant how on earth did I get hired to work at this station. I explained my background and my previous work experience etc. I knew the meeting was about to go downhill when he abruptly interrupted me, finally looked at me and said, "You (pointing at me) are nothing. You're nothing more than this (as he continued to point his finger at me up and down)...it's obvious you're nothing more than just your pretty hair, your pretty makeup, and your pretty little outfits. Other than that, you have nothing to offer and you're obviously just here collecting a paycheck." I was stunned. My reaction was to laugh, but deep down I was shocked. I started laughing and said to him, "Wow, you don't even know me. I came here to introduce myself and you've already determined that I'm nothing. Wow." He went on to say that things would no longer be like before--referring to the previous ND. He then looked toward the newsroom and pointed at the staff and said, "There are no journalists here. I'm gonna teach you all how to do the job, and if I have to fire every one of those motherfuckers you see there, I will." It was so disturbing and disgusting that I just left. A few days later he called me back to his office and as soon as I sat down, he asked me if I was married. But he didn't stop there, he then asked if I was happily married and if I had kids. I was beyond uncomfortable. I made it clear his questions were making me uncomfortable and he changed the subject. He then proceeded to tell me that he would be changing my schedule. He started scheduling me all over the place---days, nights, overnights, sometimes with only a few hours off in between shifts. He was out to make my life as difficult as possible and he succeeded. The stress was overwhelming to a point that I got physically sick. I left a year later, and when I told him I was leaving he said, "No one ever just leaves this company." He then proceeded to tell me that I needed to sign a separation agreement. I read it and the document clearly stated that I had 45 days to review it, (you would think the "boss" would know this). He emailed me to say that if I wanted my last paychecks and vacation pay, I would have to sign the agreement before leaving. That was a big red flag. Prior to my last day, I made multiple attempts to speak with the general manager of the station but he never responded to my requests. His secretary gave me no answer, either. I later found out through the new "boss" that he had explained to the GM that I had chosen to leave. If things weren't bad enough already, when I asked for an exit interview, the "boss" said that since the HR person had been let go, my exit interview would be with him. I started laughing, I kept thinking this must be a joke. It wasn't. He was serious. I took 45 days to review the separation agreement, consulted with an attorney and during that time made multiple attempts to reach the general manager but to no avail. I finally explained in an email to the GM, everything the new "boss" has said to me and expressed my disappointment and concern at his behavior. He never responded. I had to wait 8 months before I got paid. My biggest disappointment was in the GM whom I had a good relationship with.

His lack of action or even a response to my concerns spoke volumes of who he truly is and what matters to him. That GM is now a head honcho at the number one tv market in the country. The deplorable, sexist, misogynist ND I and others dealt with, is a beloved boss at the station. What truly broke me was that the few "friends"/colleagues I confided in about what I had experienced, weren't there for me. I understand that at that time everyone was out to save their jobs, but it truly hurt me and has affected me deeply to this day. I'm so glad that more women are speaking out about these types of experiences and are finally being heard. Thank you for providing this platform.

Sales/yoga teacher
Bayside, N.Y.

INAPPROPRIATE CONVERSATION

Where did this happen?

ALL MY LIFE, BEGINNING AT A VERY YOUNG AGE ,

What happened?

BegInning at a very young age, a conversation that was one sided, involving him and I. It was often in a public place, a restaurant for example. It was about how other people were “hopefully” perceiving us. Meaning that most people , he thought were seeing us as a couple.

Who was the offender?

My Father.

How did you feel?

Afraid, shameful, embarrassed and especially disgusted.

What was your reaction?

Inside, I was dying. I thought, “this cannot be happening”.
But it did over and over again.

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

I have never written about this. It is hidden deep inside me. As a little girl, I was viewed and objectified by my Father. Verbal abuse throughout my life. Not physical abuse, by him. The verbal abuse is more painful, anyday, than any physical abuse.

It began in a restaurant. I was 12 or 13.
My Father said that the waiter and everyone else thought I was his girlfriend. He was drinking and changed when he drank. (Even sober the abuse continues) I was scared to death. I said nothing, told no one. It continued and continues.
The “presents” for a Father to give a 13 yr old were inappropriate. Tiffany jewelry etc. Through therapy, I am able to speak intelligently about it.
Of course, it has affected my confidence and self esteem. I realize I haven’t reached my potential. . Unfortunately, I depend on him financially. I dream of being free.and independent financially, so I do not have to hear any of it ever again.

Shannon
Author/Designer
NYC

AT JOB INTERVIEWS OR REVIEWS

Where did this happen?

In the interviewer's home

What happened?

I was interviewing for weekend waitress sort of job, and the "interview" included putting me in compromising, sexually-humiliating positions.

Who was the offender?

A family friend of my best friend's parents

How did you feel?

Stupid. Ashamed. Tricked. Naive. Dirty. Violated. Scared. Angry. Like a whore. Wishing I'd said something. Run out of the room. Kicked him in the balls. Anything.

What was your reaction?

I was afraid to speak up for myself during the incident, so that played into feeling ashamed and stupid. I only felt somewhat better when we gave the money back.

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

He was a friend of my best friend's family, who offered to give us under the table waitressing gigs serving drinks to guys playing cards. The typical "wear sexy clothes, heels" type of thing, but before we could be on the schedule, he had to "interview" us. My friend and I both would get $200 a piece just for talking to him. Sounds legit, right? Yeah, I was barely 20-21, and pretty damn naive in this respect.

He took us individually into the bedroom and asked questions about what we were comfortable. He explained casually that some of the "clients" would pay extra for solo interaction (i.e., sexual favors). I immediately said, "No. Just the waitressing, thanks." He continued as though I may change my mind. I insisted I wouldn't, but he kept talking. Then he forced me to lie down and spread my legs (I was in a skirt). He said one of his clients likes to look. Just look. I said I didn't want to do that. He basically told me to just do it. I was getting $200 even if I decide not to take the job. "Just in case you change your mind" (something like that). I moved to pull the crotch of my underwear wider. He stopped me, saying the client likes to see pubic hair peeking out. I ended up just lying there waiting for it all to end. He hunched down and stared at my crotch and I could feel the shame wash over me already. I was in shock and scared, angry at myself. I didn't know what to do. This was someone my friend's family trusted. Part of their church/school. He handed me two hundred-dollar bills and I left. My friend never said specifically what he did while she was in the room, but it was enough that hours later, we both decided to give the money to her parents to give back to him. We didn't want that money—it wasn't worth it; we both felt dirty and wrong. I felt violated. Her family no longer had a relationship with this man after that.

Andrea
Registered nurse working in research
New York, NY

IN THE WORKPLACE

Where did this happen?

in an office where I worked for a summer job in the 1970s

What happened?

I had to leave a job because I could not find a bra that fit me.

Who was the offender?

the male office manager

How did you feel?

Inadequate as a woman

What was your reaction?

I quit the job, when I should have told him to fuck off.

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

I have always been small busted, & when the braless look came into fashion, I rejoiced. In the 1960s & 70s, there were no one size bras made with stretchy material like we have now. I was always tormented over this because, as a AA cup, there were no options for me. Even the Ads were too large. When I started college in 1970, the freedom of the 60s & 70s was in full swing. I stopped despairing & went braless. Not see through, but braless. I even used the ends of band aids to cover my nipples so they would not stick out. One day at an office where I worked for the summer, I was called aside by a male office manager who told me that I could not work there if I did not wear a bra. I was astounded & horrified that this guy was even looking at me that way. So on the way home, I detoured to Bloomingdale's lingerie department to look for a bra. I can remember trying on an assortment of cotton, pointy things, & crying in the dressing room because none of them fit. I ended up leaving the job because I couldn't find a bra to fit my small boobs. Instead of feeling empowered that I could be "me", small boobs and all, I felt inadequate, & felt that way for a long time afterward. That was over 40 years ago but the awful memory remains. Luckily, I have come to terms with all of it long ago but at the time, when I was a teenager, it was painful.

Wendy
Jewelry designer
Colorado Springs

PERSISTANT UNWANTED PURSUITS

Where did this happen?

At home, at my neighbor's, in a parking lot.

What happened?

My male neighbor seems to equate attraction with entitlement. He has made inappropriate comments, attempted to manipulate and control me into a relationship, and grabbed my butt in a parking lot.

Who was the offender?

My next door neighbor. I wish I could publically name him here!

How did you feel?

Very angry. Very repulsed. Very disgusted.

What was your reaction?

I quit interacting with him altogether. He has retaliated by bullying, vandalism, and inviting someone over that I have a restraining order against.

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

This seems to be a pattern with him. I am not the first and unfortunately won't be the last of his targets. He is a straight up narcissist. Not every veteran is nice. It disgusts me even more that he targets financially challenged women, women that are alone, and disabled women. He is also willfully ignorant and a hard core racist.

Bette O'Callaghan
Poet, Performance Artist
Austin

FORCED SEXUAL INTERACTION

Where did this happen?

Home

What happened?

My poem tells the story

SLEEPLESS at 70

When the night comes on
I hide from the memories
imprinted by an abusive sibling
by an abusive husband
the child inside flees from
the mis-imagined complicity
in the rape by a brother
the adult rages at the verbal
torment and the physical blows
followed by rape in the marital bed

When the night comes on
that boy and that man are the enemies
I battle for my sanity

When I arise
I am the victorious warrior

© Bette O’Callaghan

Who was the offender?

Brother and husband

How did you feel?

The poem tells the story

What was your reaction?

The poem tells the story

Please tell the story in detail if you wish to release this secret that is affecting your self-esteem, and it will inspire others to share their stories.

SLEEPLESS at 70

When the night comes on
I hide from the memories
imprinted by an abusive sibling
by an abusive husband
the child inside flees from
the mis-imagined complicity
in the rape by a brother
the adult rages at the verbal
torment and the physical blows
followed by rape in the marital bed

When the night comes on
that boy and that man are the enemies
I battle for my sanity

When I arise
I am the victorious warrior

© Bette O’Callaghan

Toni
Orlando

AT SCHOOL

Where did this happen?

Choral tryouts

What happened?

I was in the junior Chior in high school, and I wanted to try out for the "choral" which was the schools top choir. The director asked me to sing a few things for him during my audition, and he paused and said...."I thought you were better then that". I did handle his hiddious response well..... I said to myself that I wouldn't want to sing in a choir led by such an unkind person. Too much ego for me. I never forgot that moment.

Who was the offender?

Choir director

How did you feel?

I felt like I was in a room with a very unkind human being. I couldn't understand how an adult could say something like that to a 15 year old student.

What was your reaction?

I was upset that he could look me in the face and say that.

Norma Kamali
New York City
Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur

CAT CALLS FROM STRANGERS

Where did this happen?

On my street in Manhattan growing up

What happened?

Every day the guys would comment on my body. I was just going through puberty and I had a body that was new to me and was provoking comments from the boys. I was so uncomfortable because I was unfamiliar with being spoken to about my body. I was very insecure about the way I looked at the time. My nose was growing faster than my face and I had breasts and a shape that no longer fit my tom boy behavior.

I would literally walk the long way to school or to get to my house to avoid the daily comments.

Who was the offender?

They were the boys I grew up with and the much older boys who would hang out in the neighborhood.

How did you feel?

I think I started hunching over so my breasts wouldn’t stick out and my mother would constantly tell me to stand straight. I felt totally out of my own control.

What was your reaction?

I had to calculate when I would leave the house and how I would get past them or around them for years. I wore loose shirts and I ended up going to an all-girls high school. It may or not be relatable but I think about that now.

Norma Kamali
New York City
Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur

INAPPROPRIATE CONVERSATION

Where did this happen?

In front of my building at 11 West 56 Street

What happened?

I asked some of the construction workers who are working on a 4 year project to PLEASE not use my store front for breakfast lunch and coffee breaks.

Who was the offender?

The Forman would lean on my white building and put his cigar out on the front. In addition, his cigar smoke would come into the entrance and the smell was not pleasant to non-cigar smokers.

I asked if he had a minute to talk and he promptly looked into his phone and said he didn’t have time to speak with me he was busy.

I told him that I was the owner of the building and I was hoping to continue to maintain its appearance through the construction period and was hoping he and the guys would kindly respect my property.

He said they aren’t doing anything wrong and to leave him alone. I asked that he no longer put his cigar out on the building and he leaped at me and started yelling to bully and intimidate me. I had my iphone in my hand so I took pictures of him and he tried to pull the phone out of my hand. As he was coming at me some of his guys came behind him and they were all coming after me. I asked if they didn’t think three men after one woman was necessary? The claimed I was pulling the woman card!

How did you feel?

I was so upset because all the years of construction around my building in NYC never have I had an incident. I am always respectful and when I tell my story about it being my building they are usually surprised that a woman and for some reason looks like me owns a building and then therefore are very considerate. This was a first! And it was an aggressive attack.

What was your reaction?

I took my photos and contacted the police and the builders. I had the photo to identify the guy which made it so much easier. I realized he had a mustache and in my stress of the interaction I didn’t even see a mustache. This is so hard to imagine since I am Miss attention to detail. The thought of how many women identify abusers incorrectly became evident to me that this in fact must be common.

He was called out on the job. The construction company put up a sign so that all the tradesman would understand the agreement. The police spoke to the foreman and were surprised when he said the reason he did this was he was protecting his men.... From me?

Norma Kamali
New York City
Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur

IN THE WORKPLACE

Where did this happen?

I had a license agreement with a company and the owner was very condescending towards women. He was taking advantage of me and my company increasingly as time went by. I wanted to try to figure out a way to rethink how he and I could work together but I was unsuccessful.

What happened?

He was misrepresenting himself as my partner and making deals with European licenses directly and leaving me out of the financial deal. Our contract was clear that the agreement was USA only. He set up an appointment in my offices for the potential partners to come and have me do the presentation. I was not told about this till the day of the appointment. When I told him I was angry that he was taking advantage of me, and he was misrepresenting me and our relationship, he told me he would take me shopping and that everything would be fine.!

Who was the offender?

A garment center stereotype, who had an understanding of women’s roles and it was definitely that they were not meant to be in the workplace.

How did you feel?

I was upset that I was taken advantage of and that I had more time left in my contract.

What was your reaction?

I did not meet with anyone. I negotiated out of the contract.

Norma Kamali
New York City
Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur

AT JOB INTERVIEWS OR REVIEWS

Where did this happen?

I was on my first real job interview straight out of Fashion Institute of Technology.

I worked hard on my portfolio. I thought for hours about what I should wear and what I would say.

The appointment was in the garment center.

What happened?

I entered the office and the gentleman had his feet up on his desk eating a tuna sandwich. He told me to put my portfolio down and come to his desk and turn around for him! Heard my mother’s voice in my head saying over and over to get a job. I turned around as I did I was totally humiliated and ran out of the office in tears.

Who was the offender?

He was he power in the room. I was 18 years old and I felt vulnerable.

How did you feel?

My self-esteem was definitely challenged. I was feeling so badly about myself. My confidence in my work had me questioning my ability to work in this field.

What was your reaction?

I never went back the garment center to work again. I got a job at an airline in reservations to travel and see the world. To find out what I really wanted to do. My first trip was to London and it was the beginning of the 60’s revolution in London. I was there in the right place at the right time. This started my career in fashion as a designer.

STOP THE OBJECTIFICATION OF WOMEN NOW!

Objectification occurs repeatedly to women in their lifetime. Tell your story to free yourself of the erosive effect the secrets have on your self-esteem. By sharing your story, you inspire others to do the same.

Participate and open the conversation.

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