Emotional Abuse, Bullying, And Sexual Harassment In The Work Place

Written by: heidi kerkhoff 

I have a story I’d like to share on emotional abuse, bullying, and sexual harassment At The Work Place.

I have been seeing a psychologist. I was admitted to hospital February 2014 for panic attacks. I ran a guest house and lived on the property alone. After praying, I had a breakthrough. After that, I received strength. I became assertive towards my boss who sexually harassed me and degraded me.

Before all of this, when I was in denial, the Holy Spirit revealed to me, “I am your mother and your father. I will push you out of here. Your time here is coming to an end and something will happen soon.” At that time I did not know what I know now, that this would come to pass. This guidance gave me peace.

The psychiatrist said to me on June 2015, “Reporting your boss is the solution not long-term medication.” Repeatedly the magistrate suggested to me to get a protection order. I finally took the plunge. My final protection order was approved on the 31 July 2015. I felt like I was released out of an invisible prison. I started to laugh again.

Since I had my breakthrough until September 2015 when I resigned I became stronger. I was punished for that. I was told several times indirectly to leave my job, my duties were reduced, and I was illegally evicted after I received my protection order.

The consequences were harsh, but I have regained my self-worth. No sacrifice is too big to learn to love yourself and speak up against abuse, even emotional abuse, which can be worse as no one sees your wounds.

The commissioner said my case is solid. The Department of Labour was on a case in May 2015 by my workplace. My boss asked me to lie about conditions that were not correct according to labour law. When I refused I was subjected to mocking.

I felt helpless. The Holy Spirit spurred me on to be brave. His wife also gets emotionally abused. She covers it up; including what was done to me. She called me her daughter and tried to manipulate me. I forgave her. I am unemployed now, but I have peace. I was offered a place to stay for free, temporarily, and yesterday I was given R1000. I did not beg. This showed me that God will provide if I take that leap of faith.

If we do not speak out things will continue to be covered up. “My chains are gone. I’ve been set free” is how I feel. I have come a long way from the “old me,” which was condemnation and fear, to the “new me” — peace, joy, and courage. He has used this trial to transform me. I can use it to help others.

I do not feel hatred towards them. This is not about revenge but about standing up against emotional abuse and being an example to others who may be suffering, too.

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