Men can be victims too!

Since I’ve learned that the European Parliament will discuss sexual harassment in the parliament again I would like to bring the issue of male victims forward. I’ve worked for several years in this parliament and was mainly part of the Greens. I had several experiences with female members of the group not respecting my limits. Think of sending flirtatious messages but also touching me at several personal places of my body. I always thought: what if this was a man? There would have been zero-tolerance.

Many male employees have shared this experience among each other. There’s another story that happened years ago. A young employee that was harassed by a liberal female MEP who is still today very active for this group in parliament and already works in this parliament for over 20 years. Male victims are never taken seriously and therefore I didn’t dare to share my traumatic experience.
During one of their annual receptions he was pretty tipsy just like any other young employee. It’s the right we have as young people.
While dancing and chatting with colleagues surrounding him, she (and she’s way older) clearly started flirting with him. I have eye-witnessed it myself since I was joining another ALDE colleague. I have no idea if the young employee was provocative or just being nice. At a sudden point she started to kiss him on the dancefloor. It was so embarrassing. But above all: He didn’t give her permission to kiss her. She was very waisted. And she absolutely wanted more. I will not go into those details. But she insisted on having more physical exchange with him.

Without giving his consent she was basically touching him everywhere. A lot of people could see it but didn’t do anything about it. If this was a male MEP, would everyone kept quiet? It would have been a completely different story. I have left the party, very confused, and until now I’m still a bit ashamed about it. I was that typical bystander. I did get in touch with him afterwards, he was extremely emotional about it and felt ashamed. I never want to work in this parliament again. That’s for sure. But I hope with this testimony you’ll all pay more attention to male victims!

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