Names and places have been changed in these stories to protect the confidentiality of our contributors.
Claire’s* Story (Part 2)
“There were times on that ship where the dream I had held on to for so long felt so far away, I stood on the poop deck watching the propeller wash and wanted to jump.”
“I desperately wished my memory would give me a clue and reassure me – but it never did and in truth I was terrified what would come back.”
“I’m still learning to drop the guilt and leave the shame at the feet where it belongs. I’m still trying to replace the “it’s your fault” rhetoric to “it shouldn’t have happened.””
“Having made the grade to go to sea (young people) will try to make the best of it, even if those who should help them do not, but they are easily hurt, must be treated with respect and nurtured.”
‘I didn’t think I could speak out about these things because I wasn’t the perfect victim, I wasn’t the perfect example of a female seafarer.’
‘My cabin was in a dead end corridor next to his so I had to walk past his cabin to get to mine. He would leave his door open so he could see when I passed and know when I was inside.’
‘The chief officer asked me what I expected, living on a ship with grown men, and told me to grow up and stop causing trouble’
‘Over the years I have grown used to comments such as “Shouldn’t you be at home cooking?” or “Wouldn’t you be better off working in an office?”’
SeafarerHelp.org – What can seafarers expect when they reach out for support following sexual assault or harassment on board?