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Sexual Harassment

 

Your Voice Can Make a Difference.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid? If you knew that you would be listened to? What would you say?

What would you do if you knew someone had your back, who would speak up for you and help to give you that voice.

Many of our Clients have experienced treatment at work which has taken their voices from them. They have lost their confidence to speak up. They’re afraid of the consequences of doing so. What will people say? “She’s just a prude…”, “she can’t take a joke…”, “it was only a bit of banter…a laugh”, “she should know her place”.

They’re afraid that no-one will listen and that they will be belittled or victimised for raising an issue.

Do you struggle to get over how you were treated at work, by someone you had worked so hard for? Do you lie awake at night fretting about how you are going to provide for your family… or wake up in the morning with a sick stomach over what’s happened to you, fearful of what’s going to be thrown at you next?

Many women who have come to us have found themselves in exactly this situation; “You’re making a fuss about nothing”. “You’re over-reacting”. “You’re too uptight” or “frigid”. “You need to learn to have a sense of humour” and “lighten up…You need to learn to take a compliment”.

But harassment isn’t a joke, verbal slurs, rubbing, touching or groping…or grabbing, even kissing and being sworn at for complaining or shouted at or belittled sometimes even assaulted.

Thousands of women have grown up in the mistaken belief that these things are their fault; that their stories are shameful; that they should never tell anybody. But their experiences aren’t ‘out of place’ among the stories of daily normalized sexism that we hear every single day.

Well Enough is Enough. Even after all of the recent controversies, the #Metoo Campaign, the high-profile sackings in Hollywood, the resignations in Westminster, the hand wringing in high office… Nothing has changed. Gender discrimination in the workplace is still at epidemic levels. It is shocking to see how common discrimination against women is in our ‘modern’ society.

I watched as everything I had been working so hard for, was destroyed.”

While you may feel that you are powerless trying to fight against this type of outrageous behaviour, you are not alone. Employment Equality laws are there to protect you and punish bad employers. It’s a fact that too many employers still only pay lip service to women’s rights in work and your employer or former employer, like so many others, may have decided to simply ignore your rights and basic entitlements.

But you don’t have to do this alone, you can stand up to an unscrupulous employer and we can give you the platform to help make your voice heard by guiding you through the process, having your back and even speaking out for you when needed.

Here’s what one of our Clients said about her experience; “After I spoke out to HR about some inappropriate conduct at work, suddenly everything changed. Eventually I was told that there was to be a reorganisation and that my role was being made redundant. No-one else was affected. I felt so humiliated and undervalued. My confidence was totally destroyed. The thought that my employer had deemed me so disposable. It was mortifying. Six months later they hired someone else to do the job I had been doing. Same job title, same responsibilities. I was simply discarded like an old sock.”

She felt like she was discarded “like an old sock”… that is how utterly devastated and useless she was made feel. Unfortunately, many women simply accept this as a fact of life. It’s the way of the world and who are they to change it? How can they take on the might of a big company?

But that doesn’t need to be the case. We can help give you the support you need to stand up for yourself and other women and girls going through a similar experience like you. Here’s how;

Our Client LD* was working as a customer services rep in Waterford with a well-known call-centre. During her time there she had always been well thought of and worked hard. There was never a shortage of work. She had already been promoted to a more senior position. She was going places. At least until she raised an harassment complaint with her employer about how she was being treated by a fellow employee, that is.

Her male supervisor had made crude sexual comments to her. Initially it was sexual inuendo that made her feel very uncomfortable, but she felt she could live with. If she spoke up, she’d be seen as a crank. But then it got worse. Much worse. He started openly making lewd comments to her about her figure and what he would like to do to her sexually. About her body and her clothes. He even said horrible things in front of others who just laughed. This was “banter” apparently, a bit of “fun”. But to LD it certainly wasn’t. It made her sick to her stomach.

She did the right thing and complained to management via the HR Dignity at Work procedure and then all of a sudden, she became surplus to requirements. But worse than that, having conducted a cursory ‘lip-service’ investigation, she was threatened by HR that she could be subjected to disciplinary action for making a false complaint, even sacked for it. The Company hadn’t even properly looked into her concerns. They were circling the wagons and she needed to go. LD eventually resigned in frustration and disgust.

Her dad contacted us. LD was devastated and had completely lost her confidence. She felt overwhelmed by the whole thing. We took on her case and helped her lodge the appropriate claims with the WRC. Her former employer initially fought their corner. The WRC however awarded LD €45,000. But most of all, she felt vindicated, empowered, restored. She had had the courage to stand up to her former employer and to take back the power.

I am so glad I stood up for myself. Not about the money, sure that was nice, but it wasn’t about that. Big companies like that need to respect women, not condone harassment and bury it when it comes to light. If they don’t then who will?.” LD, Waterford

More and more women like LD are coming forward. The regular, run-of-the-mill, taken-for granted, daily sexist moments that women encounter need to be called out. Doing so will not only have a big impact on others but also helps restore your self-confidence. Awards like LD’s do make a difference. Not only to her former employer but to other employers, to her work colleagues and friends, to the decision-makers out there, but most of all to the most vulnerable of all; our sisters, daughters and friends.

The actions you take now and the choices you make, will not only have a big impact on your own life, but could also affect how other women are treated in the future. The future is in your hands. You can choose to walk away and simply suffer your situation in silence or you can be proactive, stand up for yourself and take control of it.

This kind of thing should not be “just part of being a woman” or something that “most women are just used to”. That needs to change and the only way of changing it is by standing up against it.

To do that you need help, someone who can give you a platform and take control. You need information and advice from experienced and trusted experts which will allow you to understand your rights and give you the support you need to help you to proceed. You need someone to guide you through the process, and have your back every step of the way, explain what is otherwise a very off-putting and forbidding environment and do some of the dirty work and heavy lifting for you.

Our dedicated team of professionals has huge experience working on behalf of women in these types of situation. We have the legal knowledge required to give you the best advice and are experienced at resolving these types of claims quickly and effectively – often without you having to face a drawn-out battle in the WRC. We understand the emotional pressure and stress you are going through and we can help ease the trauma of it all. Our aim is to work for you to achieve the best possible outcome so that you can move on with your life.

Most of all, we will be with you, every step of the way and when push comes to shove, we will be your voice and put those heard questions, that others may be afraid to ask, to the bullies and make them see the error of their ways.

Barrack Obama once said “one voice can change a room, and if it can change a room, it can change a city and if it can change a city it can change a nation and if it can change a nation it can change the world”.

Make your voice heard and help to change something.

Our service is confidential, discrete and tailored to each client to fit their individual needs. We will never disclose your information to others.

Every month, we offer a select number of potential clients an opportunity to meet with one of our team for a free, no obligation, initial consultation to discuss the options available to you.

Due to high demand and because we only work with a limited number of cases, we only offer 20 appointments a month. We know that these appointments always fill up very quickly. Contact us today to see how we can help you chose the outcome you want.

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Call us today on 051 841 641 for hassle free advice or make a Free Online Enquiry and we will soon be in touch to help you.