Susana had to leave the doctorate and the university because she could not stand the attitude of the catedrático that had harassed her in a tutorial session, starting to tell her that she was very pretty while he was touching her head, her hands and face. Susana was in the final stage of her PhD., the classes had finished, and she only had to hand in two final research assignments. A great opportunity to do a Masters’ in the US had arisen and she was going to propose to the professor the possibility that the last two or three tutorial sessions that were required to finish the work could be done online, by email. She was nervous, as she did not know whether he would accept. The catedrático got angry when she explained it, there was something he did not like, and the painful episode happened. Susana left, and she failed the two research assignments. She did not give up and thanks to the listening, help and understanding of fellow students and professors in the same university, she started afterwards a new doctorate, she finished it, did her thesis and she is now doctor.
She had not imaged that something like that could happen in university. She could not believe that someone who was working in a career linked to social and human issues could do this. Talking to other students of that doctorate she realized that she was not the only one. Years later, while she was doing her thesis in another university, she learnt that Roser -who was a former teacher of hers while in nursery school- had been nominated as responsible for equality of that university. She understood that Roser loved her very much and, although she was not able to fix her situation anymore, she would at least understand her and the information about her case would help prevent others. The conversation went very well, with much understanding and esteem, she went out very cheerful and convinced that she had done something very positive for other girls. Susana remembers that she asked her not to do anything for her, that she was lucky to be overcoming it. In the first moment, she did not even want to give the name of the catedrático; however, the person responsible for equality asked her for it and Susana decided to give it, not for her to do something for her, but with the aim of avoiding that other girls would go through the same.
Few weeks later she had another even more unpleasant surprise. Roser had changed her mind and was taking part in the attacks to the professors that were helping the victims, the same teachers thanks to whom – just as Susana had explained- she had moved forward. This hurt her very much, she had not asked her to act for her, but she never could have thought that she would act against the only “lifesaver” that she had met and that had kept her afloat.
Little by little she understood what had happened. Roser had been nominated Responsible for Equality due to the personal confidence that the Rector had on her, and the Rector was a friend of the catedrático that had been reported as sexual harasser by the largest number of victims. Roser gave priority to keeping her position instead of doing the task that she was supposed to be doing in that position. Meanwhile, Susana’s harasser catedrático continued to do his tutorial sessions without penalty and those who had supported her continued to suffer second order of sexual harassment from the harassers.
Susana did never again talk to Roser, the memory and esteem of whom had been her teacher in her first years of life was completely vanished. She never let herself be weighed down by the sadness nor the disenchantment. The friendship, the solidarity and the support that she received contributed for her to continue believing in the best of human beings.