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Standing Up

It happened during my youth service year. In my country, Nigeria, University graduates are made to undertake a one year service to the Nation. These graduates are posted to different geopolitical zones of the country to observe this one year service to the Nation. I was posted to a place called Nasarawa State, in the middle belt of the Nation. I served in an Agricultural government establishment in the state. On getting to my place of Primary assignment, i was instructed to meet the Head of Department who would sign me in. On meeting me, Mr Arikiya my new Boss appeared very warm in receiving me. He promised a fulfilling service year at the establishment. I was quick to settle down to work. The first week was less eventful. From the second week, i started observing some suggestive reactions from my Boss. I noticed he could call me anytime of the office hours to his office for no reason. Sometimes i could wait for hours at his office without him giving any specific instruction or work to do. It appeared he was just enjoying my presence at his office.
This went on until my day of 'Standing Up', we travelled to a place called Akwanga, for a departmental training, we were all lodged in the State guest house. My Boss strategically lodged beside my room. At night, i heard a knock on my door, it was one of our officers. he informed me that the Head of Department wanted to see me in his room. I knew what was coming, but i purposed in my heart that he was going to meet with the greatest embarrassment of his life. As i had presumed , he tried it but i gave him the greatest shock of his life. I warned him never in his life to make advances at me again. i insulted him and called him names. I was ready for the worst, even if it meant repeating my service year.
Throughout the workshop he avoided me. i didn't care. on returning to the office, he refused to sign my pay slip for the month. I went straight to the overhead Boss to report him with a warning that i would write a petition to the National Youth Service Corp copying the Governor of the State. the overhead Boss apologized and instructed him to sign immediately. i spent the remaining part of that service year in peace without any intimidation with Mr Arikiya seriously avoiding me. I overhead him saying he would never allow a Yoruba girl to serve in that establishment again because of his experience with me. I guess he had been having his way with corpers before i was posted there. Ladies, Stand Up and preserve your destinies!!!!

Comments

sibusisiweyona's picture

STANDING OVATION

when i was reading your story i laughed when you said that "i purposed it in my heart that he was going to meet the greatest embarrassment of his life" and ii said go girl. your story is real and a true reflection of what goes on in jobs out there and i am really glad you taught that shameful man a lesson

stay blessed

pheebsabroad's picture

well done you!

Sexual harassment is a serious problem around the world, it is something women (and men) suffer from in developed and developing countries and I don't believe any sector of society is immune to it. It is important for individuals to stand up and put a stop to it, to say this type of behavior is NOT acceptable, ever. It is equally important for victimized individuals to be able to find a safe place to report harassment---and I think it is also honorable that the "bigger boss" forced your direct supervisor to act with some amount of decency by paying you your wages! I applaud your effort!

Pheobe

Myrthe's picture

Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your story. There are so many women everywhere with similar stories about sexual harassment in the workplace. Well done to you for standing up and not accepting such behavior from your supervisor! Also, I think your story shows the importance of people higher up being responsive to complaints about sexual harassment.

ccontreras's picture

Congratulations!

You are awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am so glad you stood up against your boss that was clearly harrassing you and at the end of the day, he's the one looking like a fool. Your story will inspire many young girls in similar situations!

"I embrace emerging experience. I am a butterfly. Not a butterfly collector." - Stafford

Celine's picture

Brave Act

Funke dear,

I congratulate you for your brave act. Sexual harassment is a daily threat that confronts women and men everywhere. People are victimized especially when the harassment comes from a person higher than the victim. Your supervisor see you as vulnerable and therefore thought he can have his way. But you summoned courage and outwit him.
Yes, women need to stand up and confront challenges no matter the circumstance. I applaud your courage.

In solidarity and love.

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