Despite several laws prohibiting s3xual harassment in Nigeria, many victims are forced to quit their dream jobs while others suffer depression as a result of unsolicited s3xual advances from bosses/colleagues.
This happens everywhere in the world but it became a norms in some places which they use in taking advantages of their employees.
S3xual harassment have chases lot’s of people from their dream jobs into something else they’ve never thought of.
Millions of victims out there and yet no one to help. Both men and women are affected in this but 80% of victims are women.
Let’s look into people’s experiences below:
Aminat Ibrahim (A 24year old computer operator and a personal secretary).
“It all started with I like you to I love you even after my hell of explanations that I have a man and I love him”.
I get terrified always anytime I see him, how did someone who use to love and appreciate my work suddenly changed towards me.
Not to mention it, the harassment from other men in and out the organization was more than enough problem for me but will my boss care? Let alone helping me off the situation.
He kept mentioning the amount of money he spent building the business. Every time, he come with bundles of money just to get my brain there. I still didn’t comply and I became a rag before him, I tried holding on but it kept draining me.
He never threatened my job but the emotional and physical torture alone would have drained me to death if I continue. I had to quit in order to keep living.
Joy Thompson (A 24-year-old Accountant)
If you want to keep your job and excel in your career, you need to do as I say,” Joy boss said to her on one faithful day. Joy, who had just gotten her first job in one of the Nigerian banks, said she fell into depression after her boss s3xually harassed her.
Just like every fresh Nigerian graduate, Joy desired financial stability and this pushed her to searching for a job and she finally got one with a bank in Abuja.
A few months into the job, Joy said she started getting unnecessary attention from her boss who asked her to share his lunch, reduced her workload and told her to let him know when she needed anything. This made her uncomfortable because her other colleagues were not getting the same favours.
“He then began to request to hold my hands, hug, hang out, but I refused and so he changed and started threatening me. He would push me to the wall in his office and caress me.
His threats became intense and I fell into depression. I became sad and started to hate a job I love. I couldn’t believe how my boss, a man who ought to protect and teach me, was chasing after me,” she said.
After 8 months, I was forced to quit because others will be paid and I will have to go get my money from my boss himself. I couldn’t bear the outcome anymore so I quit.
Joy explained that the physical harassment she faced with her boss left her with trauma even though she no longer works there.
“I find it very difficult to relate with my boss and colleagues at my new place of work, remembering those moments sends shivers down my spine,” she said.
Zainab Muhammed (A 25 year old receptionist)
She had to quit her job due to frustrations from being chased around by men in her place of work.
“The men in that organisation made numerous attempts to have physical contact with me. They would hold my hands, whisper into my ears, hold me around the waist. I was really frustrated. I wondered what I was doing that made me a target of harassment”.
“I couldn’t take it anymore and I knew I had to quit because my mental health was at stake.”
Jibasa Andrews (A 23 year old personal assistant)
He said “like, I was less worried because I am a guy so chances of s3xual harassment will be minimal or even zero”.
It all started with helping to untie her shoes in the office to arranging documents while she do the unspeakable with me.
I don’t even want to share the experiences I had with my co-workers because it will break me again.
I complained not to be pleased with her harassment, she threatened me with my job, I complied and for a month, I became a s3x toy. I was losing my soul so I quit. Since then I haven’t been able to work with anyone else because the picture still exist in my brain.
Lateef Yakub (A 27 year software engineer)
He said, I love my job dearly and I work so hard to maintain it.
My company will send me off official appointments to help other companies in fixing their computers and teaching them the necessities.
I wasn’t just harassed by women but also got harassed severely by men.
This got me drained, unhappy and uncomfortable, I had to make the right decision and that is either to quit my job to prevent me from going to those places or to tell my company that I am not interested in going to those places again.
In addition to workplace s3xual harassment;
There are lots of ways in which workplace s3xual harassment can affect victims, whether it is verbal, non-verbal, physical, or power play. This can lead to frustration, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
The victims may end up quitting their jobs because they believe that they can do nothing about being harassed in the workplace. Even after quitting their jobs, some don’t recover fully.
What should victims do?
“This is the era of social media and victims have the opportunity to get evidence in so many ways. If you have your phone, try to get the conversations and also try to get photographs.
“In court, if you don’t have evidence to back up whatever claim you make, it is always difficult to prosecute. So, for you to be able to convince anyone that something has happened, you have to get evidence and the best form of evidence in law is documentary, that is one evidence that cannot be denied.
Let us shun the cause of silence. Most people keep quiet because they are afraid of losing their jobs and that is why most perpetrators go free.
“Because nobody has really dealt with them, it keeps happening. If victims speak up, sexual harassment in workplaces, if not stopped, will be reduced to the minimum.
“Organisations should condemn such acts in their offices and encourage workers to speak out if such things happen. They should also encourage litigation against people who perpetrate this act that will serve as a warning to others who might want to do it.
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