I met my abuser at work when I was 18. Our first “date” happened after he offered me a ride home one night. Instead of taking me back to my dorm, he decided we were getting food and going to see a movie first. I was too scared to tell him no, and that night turned out okay. We started dating shortly after, and the red flags began to pile up. He would frequently make domestic violence jokes, grab my wrists and “playfully” push me around. On December 23, 2014, we were drinking at his apartment and watching movies. After I stated I was feeling drunk and lay down to go to sleep, he demanded I perform oral sex on him. When I told him no, he disrobed from the waist down and pushed himself into my bare back. He only stopped because I screamed and he was worried his neighbors would hear.
We broke up a week later, but he continued to violate my space at every opportunity while we were at work, standing uncomfortably close behind me when I was performing tasks, cornering me in aisles and harassing me, and demanding to know why I wouldn’t talk to him. Almost a year after he attempted to assault me, it came to light at work and my supervisor reported it to store management against my request that he not. I was pulled out of class to attend a “meeting” at work, in which both the male store manager and male assistant store manager closed me in a room and berated me for bringing it to light, making statements such as “it takes two to tango” and accusing me of “trying to ruin his career.” They proceeded to make the next year of my life a living hell so that I would quit the job, all while promoting him up through the ranks. He’s still living in Fort Collins and is now an electrician. I fear for the women who’s homes he enters.
– AJ (they/he)