In a Washington Post article by Emily Yahr, actor Terry Crews says, “a ‘high level Hollywood executive’ groped him. He continued, “This whole thing with Harvey Weinstein is giving me PTSD. Why? Because this kind of thing happened to ME," the former NFL player tweeted.
Mr. Crews, in relaying his reaction to the Weinstein scandal, stated that he is still haunted by what happened to him, and has expressed what most men and women experience long after the event, sometimes for the rest of their lives. I can speak to this because, like Crews, “this kind of thing happened to ME!"
On two occasions, my former co -author, the highly regarded bullying expert Barbara Coloroso, made sexual advances towards me - one verbal and the other physical. In one of the incidences she bragged to me that she had seduced a gay Canadian Olympian, after she taught him how to kayak. Based on her aggressiveness with me I am sure we were not the only ones she harassed. She is in the same category as Trump, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and Bill Cosby pathetic predators.
After I rejected her physical advance, Coloroso started a campaign to discredit me, enlisting The Workplace Bullying Institute’s Gary Namie, the Toronto Star, and Google as weapons. I wrote a blog about my experience, but even now they continue to bully me.
My initial reaction was to expose what was happening to me and why. Almost everyone from whom I sought advice on this discouraged me from pursuing this course of action. Upon reflection, they were wrong, and I was wrong in following it. Rather I sought remedy through the legal process. Legally I won, but emotionally I lost.
Until the conclusion of the court case, through my books, including From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire, and in articles and blogs, I gave people who are targeted hope. I am an expert on the topic of bullying, abuse and harassment, and had deep enough pockets to fight it. As I indicated earlier, emotionally I lost; and the tragedy of this is my inability, in good conscience to continue to give those who are targeted hope.
The Weinstein story may have a good result is giving people the courage to come forward with what happened in the past and ideally exposing bullies and predators immediately after it occurs.
This should also motivate organizations to provide their employees with ombudspersons to as a method by which they can seek advice and support on both report and seek recourse. As indicated in yesterday’s blog Human Resources just doesn’t cut it.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore