Now what? She Says I Hit Her

Question:

I’m back with an update. I was in the process of moving to our corporate office for a better position when we heard the news that my former friend had filed a complaint with a government office. I know you mentioned before that I shouldn’t be paranoid, but I honestly am. I saw a copy of the complaint and aside from sexual harassment, she added that I had hit her once before. I’ve never touched this girl and am so amazed at what she’s capable of. When will this end? What should I expect? As always, your wisdom on this matter is much appreciated.

Signed,

More Accusations


Answer:

Dear More Accusations:

I don’t know what to add that could lessen your anxiety. How could you not be paranoid after being accused of sexual harassment and now with the additional accusation that you physically assaulted her? Your corporate office will likely advise you to cooperate with the investigation. Usually, the first step is to separate the party making the accusation from the one accused. Avoid gossip about it; however, you should seek the advice of your superiors and Human Resources. I assume an investigation is underway or soon will be. It will not be completed in a day, so prepare to worry through it. Steel yourself for the long haul. Know that it will evolve slowly.

Meanwhile focus on the positive in your work and life. Of course, from time to time it is therapeutic to spill what has boiled up in your head. But don’t play and replay it in your mind and with your family. Enter into life outside of work; of workouts or refreshing walks, singing in a choir, tutoring, etc. I looked for but as yet haven’t unearthed our previous advice to you, (we’ve had other questions on this topic), so please excuse repetition. If you haven’t already contacted an attorney, you might do that. You’ll have to decide if you want to retain one, but probably it would be wise to learn if one is willing to take your case should you need outside counsel. Many attorneys will listen to your situation without charge. Hopefully, you can cope. The individual who is bringing these accusations will need support to prove them. Without that it is a she said you said story. My associate Tina Lewis Rowe may add to my thoughts. Remember it is not the world against you. You are not flying solo; you have those within and outside your corporation who want this matter resolved in the best interest of all parties and your firm.

William Gorden