How sad is it that we live in a society, where victims of sexual assault and harassment feel like they can’t raise their voice? But, Emily Houser chose to speak up and the response she received from her co-workers is utterly disgusting.
With the amount of spotlight shining on Harvey Weinstein’s sex scandal, the topic of sexual harassment and assault was bound to come to light. Victims of sexual harassment and assault would rather keep their ordeals to themselves instead of getting help. Why might you ask? Well, it just seems like justice doesn’t always get served and someone everyone blames the victims. Asking questions like, well what were you wearing, and did you say something that might come off as flirty? I’m sure you’re as disgusted as we are!
Breaking the silence
18-year-old Emily Houser decided that enough was enough and spoke out about her manager, who had been sexually harassing her for two years. You would think people would be more supportive when someone speaks out about being sexually assaulted, but nope. Emily received hate for raising her voice and now we know why so many people choose to stay in silence.
The final straw
Emily started working at Chili’s, a restaurant in Whitehall, Pennsylvania when she was 16-years-old. Her manager, Josh Davidson took an immediate interest in her when she started working and would show up to her house and school with gifts, she didn’t want in the first place.
“Over a two-year period, it just kind of escalated into him providing me with gifts of significance and money and flowers and cards and things that I wasn’t really accepting of, things that made me extremely uncomfortable because I was not sure what he expected of me from these gifts,”
“On my 18th birthday, he showed up to my high school in the parking lot and just kind of rampaged me with gifts and asked me to officially be his girlfriend in front of a bunch of people,” she said. “I said no, and he replied in a very pompous way, saying he didn’t care if he got fired if we were together, and he didn’t care if he lost his job because he just wanted to be with me.”
“In August, the last time he showed up to my house around 2:30 in the morning, he gave me a card with hundreds of dollars in it, to which I gave it back and kind of told him to just really back off of me, because I was so obviously not interested in him and did not want to be with him,”
He finally got the message loud and clear after being rejected for the millionth time. Guess he didn’t take that too well because he started treating her with contempt and moved on to another girl immediately. Emily felt like she needed to do something about this and reported Davidson to the big guys upstairs. The Chili Corporate Headquarters transferred him to another location, away from Emily.
Instead of getting a pat on the back and being applauded for getting someone like that out of the restaurant, her co-workers decided to play a cruel joke on her instead. The angry co-workers threw her a party ridiculing her situation.
“I didn’t know how to feel, except I just didn’t really feel anything,” she said. “And then I just started to cry, because I came to terms with the fact that I did call these people my friends and I did love them and care about them, and I have no idea why they were doing this to me.”
Saddened and crushed, Emily later resigned. But, we can say this, Chili’s has officially fired Davidson, so something good did come out of it.
“If he’s actually been removed from the company then I’ll be happy, not that he’s out of a job but that he’s not able to do this to anyone else,” Emily said.