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I Was a Nuclear Site Guard. My Colleagues Sexually Assaulted Me via The New York Times

By Jennifer Glover

The sexual harassment and violence I endured while working as a security guard at the Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site loops over and over through my mind. I have nightmares about it to this day.

During a training exercise in November 2017, I was thrown to the ground, handcuffed and hit on my mouth with a gun. A fellow guard groped my buttocks and groin. Another one reached under my shirt to grab my breasts and ripped out my nipple ring.

But I will not let that define me. In the coming days I plan to file a lawsuit to enforce my legal right to not be assaulted or harassed at work or then to be retaliated against by my employer for speaking up.

I am doing this because I believe that all people — especially women working in male-dominated industries, and particularly those at nuclear sites — deserve to be safe at work. And because people who are capable of perpetrating the assault I experienced should not be entrusted to protect the highest levels of our national security.

[…]

Instead, it got worse. During the training exercise, the hardest part of the violent sexual assault was the emotional pain of being let down by my teammates. My peers laughed at me for reporting all the incidents, and I started to be afraid to go to work. When I acknowledged my fear to my lieutenant, he pulled my security clearance and claimed I was “psychologically unfit” to do my job.

They took away my guns and made me work in a guard shack. I was forced to take a psychological exam, which I passed, but my employer didn’t like that and made me take another one, which I also passed. Instead of restoring my security clearance and putting me back on regular duty, the company fired me.

It was the first time I had ever been fired. I was devastated. My fellow security guards, whom I was sworn to protect, turned their backs on me. I feared for my life. I still do.

 

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