Mountie Comes Forward After Years Of AbuseNovember 9, 2011 No Comments
A Mountie has come forward after suffering years of sexual harassment while working for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
After 16 years of service (and abuse) Catherine Galliford suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, agoraphobia, and has bouts of chemical dependency from all that she has endured.
But why did she wait so long to come forward with these serious allegations? Well, it’s that difficult to speak out. Not only do senior executives breed a “culture of fear,” but Galliford was operating within what’s still seen as a profession dominated, both physically and ideologically, by men. Her superiors were all men, she was partnered with men, and if she wanted to move up within the RCMP she had to be tough like “one of the boys,” says police psychologist Mike Webster. The repercussions of speaking out in a masculine culture of “command-and-control” can seem more daunting than just coping with it on your own.
Ironically, in a profession where she vowed to “serve and protect,” Galliford herself had no protection. She may have been the RCMP’s spokesperson, yet she was seen as powerless to speak out by her own colleagues. One supervisor exposed his “appendage,” her boss attempted to have sex with her while on the road, and there were countless times she was asked to sit on a superior’s knee.
Obviously, organizations working to uphold justice aren’t immune to injustice. So what can be done to curb incidents of sexual abuse? First of all, it can’t be shoved under the rug. Filing a complaint shouldn’t equal loss of job security and fear. We should also be aware that it can happen anywhere and to anyone.
Galliford is now speaking out, exposing her perpetrators so she can start to heal. Let’s hope this will be a trigger for other women to come forward and get the justice they deserve.
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