Wednesday, 2 November 2011

UN female employee files sex assault and hostile work environment complaint


21 October 2011

A consultant working at the UN-Headquarters has filed an internal formal complaint with the Organization accusing her direct supervisor of sexually assaulting her.
According to information received, the woman was invited by her supervisor to a bar in New York, where he allegedly assaulted her in the following ways:
-holding the woman's head fixed with his hands and repeatedly kissed her cheeks, ears and neck
-running his hands under the woman's skirt, groping her back, waist and buttocks
-pressing the woman's upper torso against himself.
The employee told that during and after the episode she felt paralyzed and mentally numb.
"I could not think or move. I felt like I was glued to my seat even though I was awkwardly teetering on the edge of the bar stool. Seeing that I was in a state of shock, he asked me not to tell anyone at the office about what happened. I kept thinking that I was going to lose my job, that I would have to leave the country, and that I would not get to be with my fiancé. Immediately I was out of my aggressor's sight I frantically tried to reach my fiancé. From my voice, he immediately sensed that something was wrong. He asked me to tell him more, but I wasn't able to sleep. We communicated at various instances through that night, as both of us were too distraught to sleep " she said.
The woman has also asked the Organization to open an investigation into her allegations that a number of officials have reportedly engaged in a pattern of marginalization and discrimination against her since she has reported the sexual assault.
A UN internal fact finding investigation is expected to start this week, said the UN Office of Human Resources Management.
UNJustice hopes that adequate protection is provided to the woman and a thorough investigation into both the allegations of sexual assault and of hostile work environment may bring those found responsible to justice.

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