A female friend of mine is telling me about a sexual harassment, which was in reality a sexual assault involving a coworker physically grabbing her backside with both hands, from upper hip with the assailant's pinky touching her perineum

The office she works at is pressuring her to have a report describing the incident in the next two hours.

She is in tears telling me the details of the situation and once I recognized that this was an assault, she is having more difficulty than before at composing what's needed. She doesn't like to feel like a victim, or want to acknowledge that fact.

She has no interest in ruining her career, as it's reputation based and word of mouth. Because of this she declined to fully describe the first incident to her supervisor who is financially motivated to keep the offender on payroll.

What I need (she needs) is a way to calmly structure and organize her thoughts and accurately describe what happened to the employer?

She has reported his multiple offenses to her immediate supervisor who passed off his behavior as ignorable / "boys will be boys" and is connected to a family who has a history of covering this stuff up.

How can I help her calm her thinking so that she can accurately describe the events that transpired without feeling overwhelmed by feelings of victimization or prescribing justice?

She is a W2 employee. He is a 1099 contractor if that makes a difference. United States.


Aside: She is living month-to-month on her income and supporting a child. Any resources or ideas on how to survive in this complicating situation is really helpful as well.

  • 5
    Has your friend gone to HR about this? If the boss is brushing this off, that is what HR is for.
    – David K
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 13:37
  • Yes, now she is with HR.
    – TLDR
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 14:12
  • 2
    Is there a reason she shouldn't go to the police immediately? This is not a "workplace" issue. This is a criminal assault. Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 16:37
  • @WesleyLong She works in a competitive industry that attracts shady people, whom she must work with in the future. In addition her target market is equally shady. Pursuing a police report, while she is in a bulls eye of cutthroat industry involving marginalized consumers is detrimental to her next paycheck, which she desperately needs. Modern day slavery.
    – TLDR
    Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 1:40

4 Answers 4


Getting with HR is a good call given prior reports were not forwarded.

Now she should just settle down and write a factual report of all incidents to the best of her recollection. She should include all the email to and from her boss on this matter.

Do NOT discuss with her boss at this point.

If they fail to take action then consider filing a police report or consulting a lawyer. Even if they take action you can still file a criminal report or consult a lawyer.

  • Down vote may I ask the problem.? I am getting some instant down votes lately.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 14:38
  • 1
    I'm too new to see the +/- of my question, but I can tell from the reputation score that someone also down voted my question. Likely someone who doesn't agree with the law and desires to suppress information (or justice)
    – TLDR
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 14:46
  • 1
    Solid advise. Downvoter must not have solid reading skills..
    – Neo
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 15:14
  • 1
    @Red2 and paprazzo, drive by down-voters are frequent around here. If they didn't bother to leave an explanation, I wouldn't bother trying to read too much into it.
    – David K
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 16:51
  • 3
    Filing a police report shouldn't be contingent on them not taking action. Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 21:36

Make sure she has everything documented, in writing and has copies of her own that the company cannot delete or withhold from her. Then immediatly go get a lawyer who specializes in workplace harassment of this nature.


This is in case she is in US

IMHO, this link should help


Also, she should retain a lawyer that specialize in these kinds of matter.

And, given that there is a habit to sweep these things under the rug at her place, tell her not to send anything in writing to management until she talks to him, given any information she will provide can be used against her should it reach litigation.

On the other hand, word of mouth and reputation should be protected. She needs to ask the lawyer about "I don`t know what its called" notice / letter or what it needs to be, insuring the discretion of the matter at hand.

Tell her not to let it go.

Would be nice to her the results of the matter


How can I help her calm her thinking so that she can accurately describe the events that transpired without feeling overwhelmed by feelings of victimization or prescribing justice?

Walk with her to the HR office. Do it now.

When she is done, walk with her back to your workspace.

  • +1 for answering the actual question.
    – Phueal
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 20:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .