I got sexually harassed at work by a disabled man and am feeling really invalidated by my family/colleagues reactions.
Let me preface this by saying I’m also disabled (professionally diagnosed with Autism).
He’s wheelchair-bound and has limited speech capability (not sure of his actual diagnosis). He gets dropped off at the business next door and will sometimes come over to chat to the guys up front. This mostly constitutes of him swearing loudly and other inappropriate behaviours.
Yesterday, he was coming down the back through the employee area, being pushed by the worker (our store).
As he was coming past I turned to move a box out the way of his chair, and when my back was to him he reached over and tried to grab my butt. If it wasn’t for the worker physically stopping him he would have groped me.
I know lots of people have been through far worse, but I’ve never felt grosser and more violated. What made it worse was the reaction of my colleagues. The workers who witnessed it laughed like it was joke, and my sister (she + my brother also work there, and my dad is the owner) dismissed it as ‘not that bad compared to what other women have to deal with’.
My mum was very supportive and reassuring, but she and dad are overseas so there’s only so much comfort she could give. I’m going to talk to dad about not letting that man in the shop, or at least not down the back in the employee only area.
They dimiss my concerns and struck it off as a joke.