He’s obsessing on and harassing me

Hey Auntie, I’m 19 and work for my tribe doing home visits. This one guy I work with started to grow increasingly obsessive with me. He told me that in the afternoon we would be riding alone together. At the last minute I asked another girl to join us.

At one house we stopped at he used his drill on my butt which caused me to drop my papers and then he rammed his pelvis into my butt when I bent down and he walked past grinning afterwards. He started obsessing with me and harassing me all day.

I never told my chief because I was too ashamed, I didn’t want her to be disappointed. I never told anyone except my parents and boyfriend. For days I was paranoid and scared to death he was gonna stalk me.

My parents settled what happened with that man but it still bothers me and I’m not sure how to go about it. Any Advice?

I’m so glad you wrote in.

So I want to give you the definition of sexual assault. I do this only to give you a reference point. It’s your right to define your experience in your own way.

Nonconsensual physical touch, and other types of unwanted sexual attention are all types of sexual assault. This definition can change from State to State, but one thing remains the same: it’s never the victim’s fault. Sexual assault is a crime.

Sexual assault is a complicated issue that can bring about all sorts of different emotions and reactions, including feelings of being ashamed, guilty, and confused. There are misconceptions that assault can be prevented by clothing or behavior, but sexual assault is precipitated solely by the actions of the attacker.

Often, individuals who commit sexual assault or rape seek dominance or power over another person. Sexual assault is really not about sexual gratification, but about power, domination, punishment, humiliation, and control.

So now what?

When you said he’s ‘obsessing and harassing you’ that worries me, especially when you use words like, “I was paranoid and scared to death.” It is your right to choose (or not choose) a course of action following sexual assault.

However, at the very least, I would recommend the following:

  • Contact Human Resources (HR). Since this is someone who works with you, you should talk to your Human Resources person at work. They are trained to confidentially handle personnel issues like harassment in the workplace. It may feel awkward to bring it up with them, but workplace harassment is something they are required to take very seriously; there are laws that protect us from harassment or retaliation in the workplace.
  • Call a counselor or support person. You can start by asking your tribal clinic or University (if you’re going). Someone trained to support survivors of sexual assault can help you come to terms with your feelings and make informed decisions about next steps. A trained counselor or support person can listen to you, help you understand what happened, explore your feelings, and identify the impact of what happened. They can also help you explore your options concerning reporting, or not.
  • Get support. If, perhaps, your tribal clinic is a little too small for you to feel comfortable making an appointment, there are a couple other resources you can try. They can also help you find another clinic close to you:

    This kind of thing happens all the time, most often by someone you know. I’m so proud of you for not sweeping this under the rug and reaching out for support so that you can live the healthiest life possible.

    I’ll be thinking about you and wishing you the best.

    Take care,
    Auntie Manda

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