Written by: Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD
I think of myself as strong but…as a college student, putting myself through school, I got a job in an older, local psychiatrist’s private office. Hoping to understand medicine and looking for a letter of recommendation for medical school, I joined his office. After a few months, when no one was in sight, he reached for me, kissed me with an open mouth and fondled my breast. Jumping back, I was stunned. I immediately told the head nurse, whose comment was “It happens.” Apparently it was no surprise. Though I needed the job, I promptly quit. Sexual harassment is a form of bullying, whether it is from a stranger or a boss. Unfortunately, many of us learn later in life how to address this form of intimidation.
Thank you to the women now who are bringing forth their stories. It is not an easy thing to admit to. As we older women tell our stories, we can give our history to our younger generation so that both men and women understand the destruction sexual harassment causes. We acknowledge that sexual harassment is a form of intimidation. It should not to be tolerated. Share your stories, encourage others to stand up to bullying and intimidation. I have certainly gotten stronger and I wish my younger self had the courage and knowledge that I have now, but at least you will know, it can happen to anyone. Now we need to be part of the solution.