Verbal Rape

Dear Friends and Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

I thought I had experienced every type of rape there was until a little over a week ago when I was verbally attacked by my supervisor. John Doe is a retired naval officer that has what I would describe as a commanding presence. I was told by one of my coworkers that he was once the captain of a ship. I had only been working for John for about a month when the attack occurred. One of the reasons I believe it happened was because of the intimacy that John established through eye contact and sexual gestures that were obvious only to me. I have to admit that I was caught off guard and I didn’t see the attack coming. Afterward, I was just as stunned as I was the first time I was raped at the age of 14.

The important thing to note about what happened to me is that rape can come from any direction, at any time, and usually when you least expect it. I’m happy to report that John’s attempt to verbally rape me was unsuccessful. What I noticed right away was that John was angry for no apparent reason. He began to ridicule me in a way that he had never done before. When he began to attack my moral character, I knew it was time for me to walk away. The thing that stood out the most about John’s attack was that he was trying to scare me. I could tell that he was using fear as a way of manipulating my behavior. After I realized what had happened, I called our employee assistance program hotline and spoke to a counselor. She was very helpful in talking me through the event and determining what had actually happened and also encouraged me to file a harassment complaint.

Choosing to file a complaint was not difficult for me because I knew John had intentionally tried to hurt me, but the aftermath has been a nightmare that I wouldn’t encourage anyone to go through. I had never been involved in any kind of workplace dispute before this and can see now why so many incidents go unreported. What helped me the most was having a close friend that I could talk to and a church family that was praying for me. As I continue to walk through this unfortunate experience, I am determined to trust the Lord and believe that something good will come out of it. If any of you have been or are in the future verbally attacked by someone, please take it seriously and consider your options carefully before you decide what to do. Verbal violence is just as and maybe even more damaging than physical violence. The wounds go deep and are hard to remove once they’ve been lodged in your soul.

God bless you everyone,

Calleen

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