I am 25 year-old female and I am facing a difficult situation with a male colleague. He has been inappropriately touching me and I am confused on how to deal with it.
It all started one day as he was teasing another colleague and he pinched me descreetly on my arm, I thought it was odd but I said to myself he maybe wanted me to get the joke. Some sort of accomplice gesture. I was not feeling comfortable about it though.
The second time, I was in the office cafeteria getting my lunch out of the lunch box and he passed behind me and grabbed me by the waist but he did this so swiftly. I felt reaaally uncomfortable about it and it shocked me but yet again as he was behind me, I thought he might have just done this as a way to pass as he lacked space and did not want to push me.
The third time, he repeated the same grabbing of the waist but he squeezed me twice. I could definitely feel his hands squeezing me. At this point I am pretty sure this is not normal and I should speak about it. I just want to know if this can be considered sexual harassment? And what is the best way to deal with it? Should it be reported?
I also am a very shy person, I hate confronting people and to be honest I am afraid of retaliation.
Any advice would be very much appreciated.