When you say something, but it goes nowhere or you are told that it will be too much effort to investigate, that it is he said vs. she said, or that they know there is a problem, but you just have to wait for these people to retire and the climate will improve—all of these stalling tactics highlight that it is more important to protect the perpetrator than the person they violated. It is more important to be complicit and protect reputations than to stand up for the right thing. One of my most disappointing days was when I said something and the devout Christian across the table chose to do nothing. Prior to this day, I respected him for being the type of Christian who embraced others and was kind and caring. I was shaking when I told him, and I truly thought he would do the right thing. I know what I told him hurt him, but in the end, he chose the easy way.
My experience in this circumstance was many micro aggressions and small cuts that in isolation are minor, but they never happen in isolation. They happen sequentially, and the scars multiply until they start to disfigure. I am thankful to have left in time to heal.
Others behind me have deeper cuts that needed more healing.
I spoke up, but did not press the issue. These people who harmed are still in their positions. When I left, I told myself I was not going to say anything. Today, I am not so sure.