Harassment at Work

Once I stopped watching television and listening to the radio at the end of 1990, "they" had to find other ways of committing abuses. So they took what must be for them a tried and tested route; they get at you by subversion of those around you. Since they wouldn't be able to do that with my family or friends, that meant getting at people in the workplace to be their mouthpieces and do their dirty work for them.

They supplied my employers in Oxford with details from what was going on in my private life, and what I and other people had said at my home and accommodation in Oxford. So people at work repeated verbatim words which had been said in my home, and repeated what I'd been doing recently. Often the most trivial things, the ones from your domestic life, are the ones which hurt most. One manager in particular at Oxford continuously abused me for ten months with verbal sexual abuse, swearing, and threats to terminate my employment. After ten months I was forced to seek psychiatric help and start taking medication, and was away from work for two months. I spoke later with a solicitor about what had happened at that company; he advised it was only possible to take action if you had left the company as a result of harassment, and such an action would have to be started very soon after leaving.

Abuse at work is comparable to that elsewhere in that tangible evidence is difficult to produce, and the abusers will always have their denials ready when challenged. And even if a court accepts what you say happened, it still remains to prove that abuse causes the type of breakdown I had at the end of 1992. In a recent case before a British court, a former member of the Army brought a case against others who had maltreated him ten years previously. Although the court accepted that abuse had occurred, it did not agree that depressive illness necessarily followed, and denied justice to the plaintiff.