A bar manager has taken a customer to court after he slapped her on the bum.
The woman took to social media, saying the incident had “a knock-on effect” on her mental health and self worth.
Slap on the bum
Annabel Brassil, 22, worked at a hotel in the Sutherland Shire, south of Sydney.
During the incident, the 41 year-old customer slapped her on the bottom as she walked past.
Brassil wrote on Facebook:
“Almost exactly a year ago, while I was working in a pub, a male customer smacked me on my bum.
“I had had no previous interaction with this customer, he simply walked in, saw me and hit me, to which he attempted to justify by saying that it was fine because he had a wife.
“This event had a knock on affect on me questioning my worth and caused my mental health to deteriorate, as well as it leading me to really dislike working in a pub which was all I had done since I was 17.
“It also caused me to imagine this guys face wherever I went and I generally felt uncomfortable in my workplace.”
“SEXUAL HARASSMENT CLAIMS WINS $20,000 FOR BARTENDER SLAPPED ON THE BUM”
Bar manager takes customer to court
Bassil decided to take legal action as a result of the incident.
However, she said her male friends criticised her for the decision, accusing her of being “over dramatic”.
“I had a number of males around me imply that they thought I was over reacting and wasting my time which only made this situation more overwhelming.
“At the end of the day, no one has the right to tell me how I should feel or react, and just because this could have been worse, it was still wrong.”
The man pleaded guilty last week to common assault and had no conviction recorded.
Hospitality industry rife with sexual harassment
Bassil described being “constantly objectified” while working in the hospitality industry for five years.
She said it is normal for a customer to behave as if “your sole purpose of being there is to be something nice to look at”.
A survey by the United Voice Union found 9 out of 10 female workers in the hospitality industry experience sexual harassment on the job.
Everybody has a right to safe workplace
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from Sexual Harassment Claims says everybody has a right to a safe workplace.
“Pubs and clubs are workplaces for many young people, and they do not deserve to be harassed by customers or colleagues,” he said.
“I’d like to congratulate Ms Bassil for taking a stand.
“Anyone who experiences this sort of conduct should know they don’t have to put up with up, and there is help available.”
If you have experienced sexual harassment, we can help.
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