I work for a company as the secretary of the manager. For some time my boss has been saying things to me that I don’t believe are right. One day he hugged me and forcibly touched me. I felt so bad! I thought about my husband, but I don’t want to tell him yet…. It was not just that day. My boss calls for me constantly.
I can’t stand it any more! I have kept this to myself so far, so as not to have more problems.
We can certainly understand why you feel so conflicted! You don’t want to jeopardize your job by some unwise action that your husband might take if he were to find out. But you don’t want to keep secrets from him either. And you definitely do not welcome this kind of attention from your boss, yet you feel powerless to do anything about it.
It is a good thing that you want to stop this unwelcome attention right now, before anything serious happens, because it is obvious that your boss intends to take advantage of your compliance. If you do not find the courage to stand up to him now, his advances will become more and more sexual in nature. Men like him use their authority and power to take what they want with no regard for the feelings of others. And many women, like you, feel powerless. But you do have the power to say what you want and how you expect to be treated, and the time to start is now.
The next time that your boss hugs you or touches you in any way that is inappropriate, you need to jump back, almost as if you were slapped. Do it suddenly and quickly so that you can use surprise to your advantage. Do it with force and strength, and say very firmly, “Stop! I do not want you to hug me or touch me. Your actions offend me. This is not part of my job and it should never happen again!”
Depending on the particular situation, you may need to also say that if he continues, you will tell his wife and your husband. If your country has sexual harassment laws and procedures, you may need to say that you will file an official complaint if he doesn’t stop. Or, if your boss has a boss, you might need to threaten telling that person. However, whatever threat you make, be certain that you will go through with it the very next time your boss makes advances. Never make a threat that you cannot or will not keep.
Hopefully your boss will take you seriously and understand that he must treat you respectfully. However, you should probably look for another job if you can, because it is also probable that your boss will give you a hard time for having rejected him.
Most importantly, you need to pray and ask God to give you His wisdom and strength. He loves you very much and cares about your situation. As the Apostle Peter wrote, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”1
We wish you well,
1 1P 5:7