A long time ago, when I was a student, one of my tutors had a bit of a thing for me. I was studying literature and at times we had one to one classes, and during these he took every opportunity to quiz me about sex and intimacy, of course in the context of what I was studying. I felt very uncomfortable, but just ignored it all as there were other things going on in my life at the time.
Things came to a head at the end of the year however when at a faculty dinner I wasn’t present at he talked explicitly and at length about what he’d like to do to me in bed. Some female friends who were there told me about it and persuaded me to complain.
I went to talk to a female member of staff, who was very supportive and offered to speak to the head of faculty on my behalf. So she did that. When I spoke to her again she advised me that someone in the faculty had threatened me and that I should just drop the complaint. The tutor in question was already going to leave to work in a different industry, so there was ‘no point in pursuing it’.
I had to meet with the head of faculty and agreed to attend the final class of the year (alone) with my tutor and was told ‘how maturely I had handled the situation’. I felt sick for days in anticipation of this class.
The situation impacted the rest of my time at university. In my final year I was never taught by a senior faculty member again, nor was I offered help for revision before finals (others on my course were).
The incident left me feeling frightened and desperately shamed for years. I found it very hard to stay at university for my final year and only did so because I was determined not to lose my chance to get a degree.
I’m still working through the issues that this incident brought up. But I’m proud that I got my degree, that I have achieved many things since and (while scarred) am not broken by what happened.