"Sexually Harassed by a Junior Board Member"
About 8 years ago, I was working at a nonprofit arts organization and part of my role was facilitating for the junior board. I would schedule the meetings, create the agenda, communicate with the junior board members, and take care of any paperwork and data needs. The very first event they put on was a huge undertaking. It was stressful and everyone was so relieved that it was actually happening so it goes without saying that the open bar was utilized (I even had a drink).
One particular junior board member had too much to drink and wandered to the raffle table that I was guarding by myself, the crowd of attendees and staff were on the other side of the room. He asked to take a picture at the photobooth at the event and I said yes, because I didn't have any reason not to trust him at that point and we were friendly.
Once the picture developed, he started going on and on about how sexy I was and if the guy I was dating at the time would be jealous if he saw the picture of us standing that close. He talked about how he had been watching me during meetings and at one point grabbed me by the back of my neck. I don't remember how I got him to leave me alone after that, I just remember feeling deeply uncomfortable and wanting to leave as soon as possible. My roommate picked me up and I mentioned to him in passing how I had a weird interaction with a junior board member but didn't go into detail.
A week went by before I finally said something because it made me physically ill to keep it to myself. I told my manager first who told me that she was sorry that it happened but that the sexual harassment I experienced would hinder my growth opportunities in my role because I was being removed from the junior board. She asked me if I had been drinking and I said I hadn't. I felt ashamed because I had had a drink and lied about it because I was afraid of not being believed or people excusing the behavior either because I was "drunk" and couldn't discern what was happening or I was "drunk" and deserved what happened to me. Neither were or are true.
Human resources told me a nicer version of what my manager said and had me write up what they called a "victim statement". She had the junior board member do the same and read me his once she received it. It was full of how he never intended to make me feel uncomfortable and how his mother is ashamed of him and did nothing to make me feel better about the situation, especially since he was still allowed to participate on the board for another year until a different human resources person heard about what happened and had him removed.
I'm angry not only with the junior board member and his actions but also at the high level individuals at my organization who failed me nearly every step of the way and allowed this junior board member to be a part of the organization after the harm he caused me and failed to take responsibility for.