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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Weird incident at Claire Ste-Marie

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Author Topic: Weird incident at Claire Ste-Marie
Jemima7777
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Hello,

It's been a while since I last wrote here. I come here today to write about some weird incident that really pissed me off.

It happenned an hour ago, when I was shopping with my mom at Claire Ste-marie for a tie, for my waitress's uniform. This older man was being really nice and said he would make the knot (I'm not sure if there's a specific english word for this)while I was wearing the tie, so all I would have to do in the future was to slide it, to adjust it.

I'm not sure why I didn't oppose this from the start. First, he said he would, period. He didn't offer. And second, I like to be independant and reasearch my own stuff and do my own things. Like tying this knot. It's something I will need to do in the future anyway, since I intend to wash the tie.

But I didn't and I let him do it. It got really wierd, really fast. He kept touching my boobs. I was really unconfortable and waited anxiously for it to be over, apprently not realising that it was in my power to end it.

He kept touching my boobs... I don't know if I was supposed to believe it was an accident or what... But he touched them much too often for it to be completely accidental.

And what a weird idea, right? For an older man to tie the thing on the girl...

So, anyways. When it was finally done, he declared it was too short and he should do it again. He grabbed the tie but my mom and I both said it would be fine the way it was. My mom had seen it too, of course, but she was paralysed with confusion and fear. The man insisted that he would redo the thing but we kept on refusing. Then he said he would just remove it (Like, what? I can remove the thing myself!) and he was really persistant. But my mom and I assured him that everything was perfect the way it was. He asked: ''You're going to wear it outside?'' and we said yes.

My mom and I were both really freaked out by this. My mom blamed herself, she was like: ''Why didn't I react sooner?'' and I agree, she should have done something, I'm her daughter and that was plain disgusting. But at the same time, I understand that she was confused and scared, as I was myself.

I blame myself too... I can't believe I let him do this for a whole minute... Why didn't I just say something? And why was he so insistant?

So anyways, my mom and I got out of there, sat down and talked about it. It's impossible for him to have done this on accident... Doesn't a man realise when he touches a girl's boobs? I think he does... I'm really angry! Why does such things exist? Why did this man choose to act in a very disrespectful way? Why do some people don't care what they do to others?

I'm a survivor of sexual assault too... Which may be why I had trouble reacting. My mother said we had to work on ourselves to make sure this never happens again. I couldn't agree more.

On the way home, I kept thinking that as long as I let fear stop me from expressing my opinion and desires, I will be a victim, like I was today. And I don't want that. But... Why is it so hard to be brave?

I came here because you scarleteen people have a way to cheer others up with your kind words... So... Please tell me honestly what you think of the whole thing.

Thank you in advance. Good day.

Jemima

[ 04-25-2013, 04:45 PM: Message edited by: Jemima7777 ]

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You hold the mightiest weapon of all.

Posts: 32 | From: Canada | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
moonlight bouncing off water
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Hi Jemima,

I agree that this man clearly was doing this on purpose. And you are right, your mother should have reacted.

Those things aside, you don't need to blame yourself for not reacting. As you said, you were paralysed with fear. Given that situation a large amount of people would react in the very same way.

I'm sorry I can't be of much more help than that, but I'm sure someone else will be along soon with more advice.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Karybu
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If you feel up to it, Jemima, have you considered filing a complaint with the store? They're likely to have a customer service department you can get in touch with, and your mum saw exactly what happened too so she can back you up.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Jemima7777
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Thank you for your replies. Karyku, that is a great idea. I do believe there is only one of that store, so I can't adress these problems to a higher, bigger ''Claire Ste-Marie entity...'' But it is part of a mall, so maybe there is someone, something there that deals with these situations. I will definitly see what I can do.

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You hold the mightiest weapon of all.

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Karybu
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Well, the manager of the store could be a good place to start. Mall management may also be helpful. If you need any help figuring out what you'd like to say, you're more than welcome to brainstorm with us here. [Smile]

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Jemima7777
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Thank you Karybu! I may take you up on that offer! [Smile]

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You hold the mightiest weapon of all.

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Karybu
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You're very welcome. [Smile] Just holler if you want some help.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Jemima7777
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Hello again,

Okay. So, I am getting ready to fill a complaint. This store is part of a mall, so I will address this problem to the human resources department of the mall, or something like that. I think it will be more efficient to do it that way, because these people will be less likely to be biaised, as they probably don't know the man in question.

So I will tell the whole thing just as I wrote it here, except for what hapenned after we left the store. I will insist on the fact that this man was very persistant, and that i had to physically resist and get away from him in order for him to stop. When he decided that the knot was too short, he grabbed the tie and said he would do it again. He never asked my opinion. Then my mother and I said that it would be fine the way it was, but still, his hands were raised in my direction and he was ready to grab me, or the tie, or both. I will insist on this, because I believe this is what truly shows that his intentions were bad.

The thing is, I know, deep down, that it is perfectly normal, and healthy to fill complaints like these when shitty stuff like that happens to you. And I know perfectly well that what this man did is wrong. It infuriates me to think that he decided to use me to please himself. But I am very scared of how the complaint will go. I want to be heard, and respected, and treated well. And, what's more, I want my complaint to have an impact.

I am afraid of what people at the human resources department will say. Will they treat me as a crazy person? Will they laugh at me?

I think I just need some boost, some encouragments. I really want to do this. I know, deep down, that I have to. I can't let this man touch me for his own pleasure and do nothing. I'm not his toy.

I realise now how excessively important it is to learn to protect yourself from harm. Because if you don't, and encounter these kind of situations, you let your inside break, and you're stuck with the pain, the consequences, and the hassle of reparing things. Like filling a complaint. I have to put a big amount of energy into something, because I was to afraid to defend myself when I had to.

That being said, I try to remain positive, and envision this phone call going great.

Thank you (so much) for your support!

And I hope my english doesn't feel too weird. it's not my first langage.

[ 04-30-2013, 02:32 PM: Message edited by: Jemima7777 ]

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You hold the mightiest weapon of all.

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Molias
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Hi Jemima,

I can definitely understand why this could be an intimidating call to make. One thing that could help is to write down a general outline of what happened so that if you're feeling stressed or flustered during the call, you can refer to it or even read directly from that to make sure you don't forget anything in the moment.

Of course there's no way to know how someone will react to a complaint like this, but I would really hope that whoever you talk to will take your complaint seriously; it's definitely a serious thing to do what this person did. And honestly, if whoever you talk to doesn't take you seriously, you would certainly be well within your rights to ask to speak to someone else. There's no excuse for not taking a complaint like this seriously.

Since your mom was also with you when this happened, maybe you could have her around when you make that call, either to be silent support in the background or to add her comments as well to whoever you're talking to?

Also: your English is great, no worries!

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Jemima7777
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Okay. I called the mall a few moments ago and said I wanted to fill a complaint against the manager of a store there. As I had suspected, the man IS the manager of the place; my mom called the store yesterday to ask the manager's name. He's the one who answered, and he wasn't very keen on identifying himself. My mom add to ask him several times what was his name. When she had confirmation that he who answered the phone, and he who touched my boobs, and the manager of the place were all the same person, she asked the name of the owner. The man refused to give it.

So the lady I talked to today told me that I had to address this complaint directly to the manager of the store. I told her that I wanted to complain against the manager himself and she said I had to ask to talk to the superior, the owner.

So... Yeah. I'm guessing the owner and the manager are friendly. I am afraid that I will not be taken seriously. I will call on monday and ask to speak to the owner. I had to summun a lot of courage before I called, so for today, I consider myself victorious, but not quite brave enough to call Florent Sainte-Marie. (Not claire Sainte-Marie, I was so upset I got it wrong!!) I'm proud of myself, because I handled myself and I wasn't afraid to ask my questions to the receptionnist. I read Morias' message like 15 times today, so thank you very much for that! It helped me big time!

But I have to admit, I am a little anxious about the way things are going to go. Say the owner has a bad reaction, there has to be something else I can do, right? What if the owner himself had done it? If it goes bad, I am considering calling a consummer protection agency or something.

[ 05-03-2013, 03:15 PM: Message edited by: Jemima7777 ]

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You hold the mightiest weapon of all.

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Robin Lee
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Hi Jemima7777,

Go you for doing all you've done so far!

You know, if the owner and manager are friendly, that's just too bad for them. You and your Mom both know what happened, and you can lay that out to the owner in a "just the facts" sort of way.

What happens if the owner has a bad reaction? I think that's up to you. Certainly one option is for you to make it very clear to both of them (the owner and the manager) that you won't be shopping at their store anymore, and that you'll be telling other people not to do so either. You also have the option of contacting the police and filing a report against this man. Is this something you have considered?

How are you feeling about this over all?

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Robin

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Jemima7777
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Thank you for your reply Robin Lee.

I like your idea of laying it out as ''Just the facts, wether you like it or not.'' I will be calling the store on monday, and talk to the gruesome manager to ask for the owner's number. I'm calling tomorrow, when I know he will probably be the one to answer (only two employees there)on purpose to confront him. I don't want to avoid him out of fear, even though he is very unpleasant. I will insist that he gives me the name of the owner, as he can't refuse to give it.

I do believe that someone who was afraid to identify himself as the manager, was very to my mom when she called and refused to give the owner's name, is afraid. I believe he knows, deep down, that he did something wrong. Because I can't possibly imagine myself reacting that way at work. If someone wants the name of the manager, I give it. The name of the owner, when he can be reached, etc. No problem. So, what is HIS problem?
I also believe it is possible the owner and him aren't so friendly after all. Since he was so reluctant to tell us WHO it was... Hmm. Maybe he doesn't feel so secure after all.
These thoughts and theories comfort me and give me courage. I keep telling myself that maybe the owner will be open and respectful. Maybe he's aware, intelligent, etc. Yesterday I was just plain afraid, but today, I don't know. I'm feeling a bit more positive. If it goes bad, it goes bad. But I don't necessarily expect things to go bad.

Also, I agree that telling him, the owner, that I will not be shopping at his store anymore, and will tell everyone I know not to, and tell them why, (out of protectiveness, you know?)is a good idea. At first, I thought it would make me vulnerable, as he could easily reply something like: ''Well go ahead!'' Like, she's just a girl, what can she possibly do to harm my profits? But given more time to think about it, I now believe that whatever his first reaction is, he will actually be a little shaken. Telling a businessman that he's about to lose business has got to have an impact, right?

Also, I talked with my mom this morning and she says we definitly have to call the police. We both have been abused in the past, and she says it has to end right and forever. That behavior like this will not be tolerated anymore. That we will see this thing through. She is ready to accompany me every step of the way. I am so proud of my mom!

As for me, I am also determined. I feel empowered when I think about confronting him (and many to come). As I have been able to identify his behavior as abuse from the start, and am currently is the process of filling complaints, I don't feel as ''Sainted'' as I did in the past. I talked about it with my mom, and my boyfriend, openly. I discussed it here, and am getting ready to tell the whole world (just a manner of speaking of course) and it feels good. It's not this awful heavy secret, and I am not the one who is carrying it either... It's strange, and liberating. Being able to defend yourself makes it much easier to deal with. It makes me happy. That's how I feel about this, overall. [Smile]

I have a question, though. When I talk with the owner, is he allowed to demand that I identify myself?

Thank you so much! You guys give me strenght!

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You hold the mightiest weapon of all.

Posts: 32 | From: Canada | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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