"The first time it happened was after three of us went out for a drink to celebrate completion of a project," she recalls, her voice still shaking over an incident that occurred more than a year ago.
"My boss's boss was walking me back to my car when he grabbed me and started kissing me. When I said 'What are you doing?' he let me go and I thought that would be it.
"I didn't tell anyone, I was too embrassed. The [Washington area] industry I work in is dominated by men, and there's an 'old-boy' network here. I was sure they'd stick by him, not me.
"After that I couldn't walk down the halls at work for fear I'd see him, but I couldn't avoid him forever. One day about four months later I had to go into his office to see him about a project. He came over, shut the door, grabbed me and kissed me.
"Here was a man who could promote me or fire me, and even though I'd lost all respect for him I had to try and keep his integrity intact. This guy has got contacts all over, and all it would take is a few bad comments to harm my career. So I made up a story that I was practically engaged and I played by the rules."
When the incident was repeated a thrid time, she refused to ever again go into his office alone.
"I've thought of leaving, but I have a great job in a very competitive field and I don't want to let him push me out. But I'm always on my guard now. I like to dress nicely, but I've taken to wearing slacks or these gray flannel suits. I never go out to lunch or for a drink with male co-workers. It angers me that I can't develop a relationship with them. You have to play a certain amount of politics and develop relationships in this business, but I can't do that. It's very scary, and I feel it's hurting my career." Divorced
As a recent high-school graduate with limited work experience, the D.C. woman felt lucky to land a temporary clerical job after her husband left her and their baby. Her boss told her he could get her hired to a permanent position at a GS-11 level if she slept with him.
She agreed. There was no raise or promotion. She feared filing a complaint because she couldn't afford to lose the job. Student
A student at an area university was having problems with a difficult subject and sought her teacher's help during the instructor's office hours. Throughout the sessions the instructor continually asked her personal questions and commented on her appearance.
"Then he started taking care of the other students and would leave me to last whether the others came in before me or not," she recalls."He told me he was very attracted to me and asked me if I would go out with him.
"He did have the power to give me a grade, so I didn't want to insult him. I felt trapped. I told him I was busy. He asked if I thought I could ever make love to him. I asked him, 'What kind of question is that?' He didn't answer."
She went into the final exam with a C average. After the exam the teacher asked her out. "It was the end of the semester, I'd taken the final and had about all I could take," says the woman, who told the teacher, in essence, to drop dead.
When grades were posted hers was an F. Since the exam was to count only 40 percent of the grade, she assumed it was an error. The teacher said there was no mistake, and that she got the lowest exam score of anyone in the course. He suggested she repeat his class the next semester.
After she met with another professor in the department, her grade was changed to D. She made several appointments with the department chairman and asked to see her final exam. He canceled each one before they were to meet.
She found a lawyer, who agreed to represent her free of charge. After the lawyer contacted the department, the chairman's secretary called to arrange a meeting between the chairman and the student.
"I felt for the first time what it must be like to have been raped," recalled the woman, who said she was embrassed by the intimate questions asked by the chairman. "I felt he was convinced I'd encouraged it. It was like I was in a ring with an opponent.
"When I told him I said I was busy when the teacher asked me out he said, 'So you didn't really say no.'" The student arranged to retake the exam at the end of another semester. She got an A on the exam and a C for the course.
"Now I feel when a man offers to help me, he always has some gain in mind. Before I wasn't so skeptical. When dealing with men in the working world I'll more or less see them as opponents. For the first time in my life I realize sexism is something I have to fight." Grandmother
From a gray-haired grandmother to a co-worker who asked her out: "Sorry, but I don't play in my own sandbox." CAPTION: Picture, no caption