I've been carrying a lot with me for the past two years and it sickens me that I have to come forward and bare my trauma all over again just to attempt to seek some sort of resolve or justice in this situation, or some type of support in social standing. It is easier for me to say this because I am detached and so far away from Athens but feel that people need to know what has really happened, to prevent it from happening to someone else. I have written and rewritten this many times over the few years but never actually submitted my story here, but now that my two year anniversary of the assault is here, I feel that I am finally ready to come forward. Two years ago I was hired at a local restaurant and worked there for a month before I was raped by a co-worker. I continued my employment for the following eight months while waiting for judicial resolve that would never be coming before my eventual dismissal for missing a meeting, which other people would regularly not attend and never received any sort of disciplinary action, only when they could find grounds to terminate me. My rapist would show up at my house unannounced at 2am telling me he was outside my door and wanted to see me. He would stalk me while I was at work and try to grope me at the bar when he was drunk. I told him he needed to leave the night in question, because I had work in four hours and he digitally penetrated me after I said no, and had his hand around my throat choking me. I reported this to the police only two days later, and they did not direct me to go to the hospital for a rape kit (even within the 72 hour window allotted) or collect bed sheets for DNA or anything of the sort. I waited for months to hear back from the prosecutor, only for them to say they did not have enough evidence, after screening my phone and making me relive the assault in vivid detail. I had a restraining order from the judge who at least believed me and could see through the situation. My employer fired me instead of him, saying they had no proof he had raped me and that it was only a "speculation". They put me on graveyard shift so that our shifts would not overlap, keeping us both employed there, stating that "other people were uncomfortable that we were both working there", I responded that they SHOULD be. After my pleas that it felt unsafe, that I had people escorting me to and from my house, there was no resolve. I wanted to quit but did not find another job in Athens in this time. I was diagnosed with PTSD and upon telling this to my employer, they refused to provide any sort of accommodation for me and said simply "this is a restaurant, why do you even stay here" - that I was the one that had to leave rather than the rapist serving alcohol to intoxicated people and taking advantage of them. It was revealed to me by a friend that I am not the only person this restaurant has treated this way in regards to sexual assault, and it was revealed to me by another friend that this person molests people passed out at parties in their sleep. My therapist referred to my employers as "rape apologists" as this was not the only incident like this. Athens Police failed me and did not prosecute and were extremely unhelpful, and it is no secret that they neglect to prosecute sexual assault or take these reports seriously or respond appropriately. Since my employer fired me I lost employment, was evicted from my apartment, and have been homeless for two years and too sick with PTSD to work another job and have turned to drug addiction to cope with the things that happened. Not only the assault - being failed by the police and the harassment I endured at work as retaliation as well. The entire kitchen staff turned against me because I came forward and said that the place condones rape and were not doing anything to rectify the situation and were letting a rapist serve alcohol and take advantage of intoxicated people. I wish L, C, all of them would see how fucked up their thinking was in regards to this situation. I have filed a lawsuit for discrimination against PTSD and for the hostile and unsafe working environment and the harassment I received from other coworkers that led to my eventual dismissal and was the sole proprietary reason for my poor mental health, homelessness, and drug addiction for these past years. Maybe coming forward we can boycott this restaurant until they take a more appropriate stance regarding sexual assault. For a place that claims to be "the living room of Athens" you would think they would make sure for it to be a safe environment from the creepy rapist "uncle" and for them to at least be LGBT allies and would take reports of harassment seriously and make this a safe space for all. They have very fucked up and dated and conservative views on issues aside from sexual assault that I saw while working there, but that is another discussion entirely. They never once actually questioned me or led any kind of investigation for resolve for any of the events that occurred despite me giving them the restraining order and the judge clearly stating that this occurred. I considered spray painting the word "RAPISTS" on the glass windows to bear all so people would know but did not feel it to be worth the trouble that would ensue. In coming forward after these years I would be extremely hopeful that nobody else would end up in the same situation I had to endure. I hope I have mentioned everything here that I needed to and know that my language is convoluted and I feel violently ill now after recalling this will take me days if not weeks to recover from.
Editor's Note: This incident was shared with the name of the perpetrator and employer included. We have removed those identifying details while we reach out to additional parties involved. If you have questions or concerns about how this incident report is being handled, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happened on October 20, 2016
Incident reported by target
Bystander Action? No
Harassment Types: Sexual