Disclaimer: I am not even posting this anonymous, because I really don't care anymore, and I want to be able to answer every single comment, and thank every single answer.
Background Information: Germany, huge company, Junior Dev, female, mid 20s, I never wear revealing clothing NEVER, I usually wear jeans and a huge hoodie.
I am being sexually harassed at work. It all started when I was told that my contract propably is not being extended, this was last fall. My contract ends this August, and I am now more than happy to walk out the door. But in the beginning I was fighting. I wanted to stay, because I was scared of the responsibilities I might have at a different company. And I was really sad the first time.
Colleagues started to send me inappropiate mails, about how I would start to feel better as soon as I would sleep with them. My teamleader found out, he pressured me to go to HR with him. Nothing changed. Except I don't get a papertrail of the harassment anymore. Colleagues are snapping pictures of my butt when I bend down to lay some cables. One colleague called me on Saturday night and "offered" to help me with my project if I perform a sexual act. Colleagues are coming by my desk only to show me a picture of their penis on their phone. When I leave some colleagues say "Hey! Where is my hug?" and when I go to give them a brief hug they grab my butt. When I am in an elevator with a colleague I get inappropiate comments like: "I would like to hear you scream in here" or "in the mirror your boobs look even bigger".
I have no idea why this is escalating all of a sudden, and I am scared. I am so scared I don't know how to react. Usually I say in a calm voice that I don't want to do whatever they want from me. And I ask them to stop. They usually answer something like "don't play hard to get". And I get quiet afterwards. I know I should be screaming at them, I know I should break their arms when they try to touch me, but I can't, I am not strong enough.
I am not sleeping well anymore, I don't know who to talk to. I don't want to burn bridges with this company so shortly before I leave anyway. I just don't know how to react. I fear no one is going to take me seriously because of the #metoo movement.
Question: Is there a way to leave gracefully after what is happening right now? Is there a way to sort this out without going to court over something I can't prove? We dont have a "Betriebsrat" or anything similar. I am concerned also for our female trainee. If I leave, I am scared she might become the next "victim".
Thank you for your advice. I did go and see a doctor and a laywer. First the good news:
A psychologist I am seeing now regulary is helping me to deal with the situation. I do understand now that it is not my fault. I stopped feeling guilty after a few weeks of help, and by now I am able to work to my fullest again, even though it is still challenging and requires lots of self control.
Now the less good news: I talked to a lawyer and the police. Both told me that the stress of going to court would probably hurt me more than the company. My laywer also told me that the prove that I had was too weak to guarantee an outcome in my favor, and that cases like this can take years. And even if it would work out in my favor, the punishment for the offender would be minimal. (because I guess that is how the german law works...)
Alltogether I decided that I will fake a smile until I am at a new and safe workplace. When I am about to leave I am going to hold a big meeting with all coworkers I can possibly find and tell them the whole story (without names). So they may become more aware of their surroundings and hopefully won't look away if it starts happening again to someone else. I talked with my psychologist about how to handle this meeting and how to say things. My psychologist never tells me WHAT to do, but HOW to do it. She is truly a great help.