For seven months I worked in a research group at a UK university. The group consisted of just two members of staff, me and my manager. On my second day he shouted at me, telling me how stupid I was. Often he would sit next to me with his hand on my leg while we analysed data together. Once I made a mistake in my experiment and he laughed, but clapped me on the back so hard that it hurt. I was very unwell at the time and felt unable to do anything about my manager’s behaviour. I didn’t know where to look for support from my department as I was very isolated from other staff and I knew that other staff had seen what was happening but not taken any action. I knew I needed a good reference from him to get another job. So I left, and pretended it was due to circumstances outside work. I was unemployed for two months while I found another job in a different city. I now work at the same university again, in a different research group, but I sometimes see him, and hide. I don’t know what the right thing is to do. Confront him? Report him? Hope to successfully avoid him until he retires? If he sees me, be polite? Be honest? I don’t know. I hope he isn’t doing the same thing to anyone else. I don’t want to endanger my position and relationships at my current job, and I am still ill, and feel I don’t have the energy to take on the additional stress of making a formal complaint.