Sexually harassed at a UCT society event

So last year, 2014, I went to a rainbow UCT party and there was a man there and he started hitting on me quite aggressively. And I was with a friend and he pulled me from a friend and I told him don’t touch me. He was trying to hit on me so I sort of let him talk when he was done…He told me his name, and I gave him my club name (a fake name). A little into the conversation I told him okay cool, I’m not interested, I’m dating a woman, I’m into women – thanks but no thanks. I told him that and he didn’t take it very well, he said he could show me better things and that I should come home with him and maybe I’ll find something I like there. I told him no and I walked away. I thought the incident was weird but I didn’t think too much of it.

Fast forward a couple of hours into the night, I was dancing on the dance floor in Molly Blackburn it was pretty dark and I feel someone pull me into a very dark corner but I was dancing with two of my guy friends and my girlfriend at the time. The two guy friends saw me being pulled and I screamed when somebody’s arm grabbed me very forcefully. And my two guy friends grabbed me because they could see the two arms that were holding me and they said ‘leave her alone, leave her alone’. And the guy was the same guy  who had been hitting on me before and he was like come, I’m going to show her a good time, she wants to come with me and I said no definitely not – I was pretty traumatised. He was very forceful. I was hysterical and I said leave me the fuck alone. So we went outside and my guy friends were holding him and telling him that you can’t do that – that’s not right. He started getting aggressive with them and saying you don’t know what’s fuckin’ going on here. She’s going to come home with me whether she wants to or not. So security was called and CPS carried him out of Molly Blackburn. I guess to them that means they carried him out. Physically carried him out because he had to be picked up off of the floor because he refused to leave and so the night went on and I found a couple of other girls who had been forcefully and very aggressively approached by this man. But he was gone so I thought nothing of it.

Literally the next day I see him on campus. And he sits there across the cafeteria staring at me for a good half an hour and I got very creeped out.  So my best friend is there and she says for your safety and in case something does happen, we should go to DISCHO and open a case. At the time, I thought it was pretty unnecessary. At the time I thought I probably won’t see him again. I thought that it was just a coincidence but my instinct told me to report it anyway. So I went to DISCHO and I sat in one of their little rooms and  I told the lady what happened and she wrote down an account and I signed to say everything what I was saying was true. She left and then called in a manager. After I gave her a name and surname, she told me that he had other cases open at DISCHO. Other women said that he was very aggressive and forceful. They asked me what I wanted to do. The options I was given was that I could have him come in for a mediation process. He would come in and I would come in and one of the DISCHO people would come sit between us. I don’t quite understand what that option would mean. I told her I don’t want to see him again. Also , the problem with that option is that I would have to tell him my real name and I think that one of the few things that was protecting me from this incident is that the guy didn’t have my real name so he couldn’t find me.

And my name is unique which is why I don’t use it out with people I’ve never met before. I knew that if I gave them that option I would have to introduce myself and I didn’t want to do that. I said that and she said I can open a case and he can write you an apology letter. And I declined that option as well for the same reason because he’d have to have my name. They said that they wouldn’t allow me to do it anonymously – that was screwed up because I thought that was the only thing that was buffering me from this guy.

The third option, which I went for, is that it would go on his record as a case that was opened but not followed through though. This option allowed that if another woman were to come in and have experienced any kind of incident with him I would be called and they would presumably reconcile all the accounts and open a bigger case against him. Besides the fact that it was a very ineffective service. They were pretty unable to deal with my case. I understand that my case was very unique and my options were limited because I didn’t want to reveal my identity to him. They were very insensitive about that and they were often nudging me on saying ‘no it’s fine if you tell him your name we’ll protect you. I kept telling them you can’t protect me and their understanding was that I should be self-sacrificial (it sounded like) because they’d been other women who’d opened cases but none of them had followed through so I should be the one who does so. I told them, I’m not prepared to do that. I don’t think that my life would have to be ruined and I have to implicate myself and reveal myself to that man just so that something could happen. I thought it was pretty screwed up that a sexual harassment case, which is what that was because that man was threatening rape, would hinge on the victim having to be revealed.

They did let me know that they had spoken to him because the option I chose involved him being called in and alerted that someone had opened a case against him. They told me that the process had happened but they never did tell me what happened afterwards. They haven’t called me in so I presume no one else has opened a case against him but I just thought that they could have handled it a whole lot better. They wouldn’t let me speak to the CPS person who was on site. That was pretty upsetting to me but DISCHO said that they couldn’t ask CPS to testify and couldn’t ask CPS in any way to add to the details of the case. They said that my account and the account of the people who were with me – my best friends – were the only people they could approach and they were only allowed to approach students for details on cases.

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