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Romantic harassment


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I posted about this situation earlier in another post but basically I am a junior grad student, finished my first year. The senior most grad student and I were kind of becoming friends but he misinterpreted my affections as romantic and started treating me very romantically. He wanted to date me but never made any direct moves so it was hard for me to straight up turn him down. I felt so repulsed by his presence and romantic advances that I stopped going to lab and it was strongly impacting my mental health. I was forced to tell my advisor what was going on but he kept insisting he did nothing wrong because he didnt mean to make me uncomfortable. She made me tell both of them what he did that made me uncomfortable. He denied everything but apologized and said he didnt mean to make me uncomfortable. She definitely believed him and thinks I’m delusional and asked me if I accepted his apology. I said no but agreed to continue working with him. I’m so angry because she kept telling me she would support me in these situations but when it came down to it, she didnt believe me. I feel angry at her but dont intend on leaving because I really want this degree. How can I move forward and work with her considering I feel so angry at her?

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Does your school have a provost you can talk to? At my school, students have been advised to talk to the provost if a teacher is doing something wrong and teachers actually have gotten in trouble for things they did. Also, are there any other advisors for your program? You might be able to ask to switch if there are. If he keeps doing things you've specifically asked him not to then you can get the police involved and file a harassment complaint. You can probably file a Title IX complaint since that covers any form of gender-based discrimination or harassment and it doesn't seem like he would be treating a man like this.

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On 6/2/2019 at 9:14 AM, Alcairm said:

How can I move forward and work with her considering I feel so angry at her?

I had this issue with my supervisor, but it was more of a case of him being a shitty supervisor and being out of the country for more than half the year when I needed help in the lab. 

I guess it all depends on whether you need to use her to network for further study/a job or not. In these sorts of situation I hate the practice of networking and keeping connections because I just don't want -phobic or toxic people in my life BUT I have to be nice to these terrible people if I want a better job opportunity. Is there a supportive LGBT+ group at the school, or one that you are part of? they probably might know things you can do specific to your area, the laws or services available at your education place. 


Because you agreed to continue working with him I assume he has changed his behaviour? 

If he hasn't you should complain to her again to see if she does something different. Ultimately I don't think you can report someone on whether they believe you or not, but if their actions and solutions aren't working you should take your issues up with someone more senior in the hierarchy, either the provost or the department head or one of the student advocate officers, and say there is an issue of harassment that has been handled badly. 

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