I was in my early 30s, and had landed a job on a prominent morning television show. The hours were very difficult, arriving at work somewhere between 2am and 4am. I was the only woman on the stage crew, a situation I was very used to. My boss made it clear if I had any problems, I only had to speak up. I was encouraged that it was a safe working environment as he was a man with two young daughters.
I was very wrong.
As the years dragged on, I was attacked by a co-worker who was asked to do nothing more than apologize to me. Another man would stalk me outside the women’s room, in a very quiet hallway out of sight of everyone. He would threaten me with violence. Nothing happened to him either.
Eventually the abuse even spread to the man who sat next to me all day long. He took to hitting me repeatedly on my shoulders and arms, leaving bruises.
My boss only responded by leaving a 50s newspaper article at my work session, with a circled section. It explained how women should obey the men in their lives, and keep quiet.
I took my complaints to my union shop steward, who refused to do anything. I called my union representative who literally told me to shut up and go back to work.
Eventually I was demoted, removed from my position (to be away from the abuser), and given general duties, not the highly skilled job I had been performing. My pay also dropped. I treated as a pariaha among the crew, and I eventually left the job after 5 years.
If I ever see another woman being abused on any work sites I now work on, I take no prisoners. I raise hell. I never want to see another woman go through the hopelessness and isolation I went through.