Coming forward about issues such as sexual harassment is not an easy thing to do. Sometimes people don't believe you, other times they ridicule you. This is one of the biggest reasons why women who lived this type of experience don't always speak out.
When 18-year-old Emily Houser from Pennsylvania reported her manager at Chili's for sexual harassment, things only got worse.
It all started two years ago when the restaurant hired Josh Davidson as manager. Josh, who was 8 years her senior, quickly developed a crush on the teenager and began to pursue her.
"Over a two-year period, it just kind of escalated into him providing me with gifts of significance and money and flowers and cards and things that I wasn’t really accepting of, things that made me extremely uncomfortable because I was not sure what he expected of me from these gifts," Emily told Buzzfeed.
Despite her refusal, Josh kept making advances and even asked Emily to be his girlfriend on her 18th birthday. He simply wouldn't take no for an answer.
"In August, the last time he showed up to my house around 2:30 in the morning, he gave me a card with hundreds of dollars in it, to which I gave it back and kind of told him to just really back off of me, because I was so obviously not interested in him and did not want to be with him," she said.
Soon after the final rejection, Josh started to verbally and physically abuse the teenager at work. Emily tried to keep the situation under wraps, but when Josh started to take interest in another innocent girl, she decided it was time to speak out. She reported everything to the higher-ups which resulted in an investigation and Josh's eventual transfer to another Chili's location.
After news of Josh's relocation leaked, Emily's coworkers threw him goodbye party complete with a cake iced with "Fuck Emily Houser." Some of her colleagues posted pictures from the gathering on Instagram with awful comments like "Have your cake and eat it too hoe #petty."
"I didn’t know how to feel, except I just didn’t really feel anything," Emily said. "And then I just started to cry, because I came to terms with the fact that I did call these people my friends and I did love them and care about them, and I have no idea why they were doing this to me."
The teen reported the actions of the staff to the corporate office and Chili's has since conducted a thorough investigation and fired the employees who were involved.
Emily told Buzzfeed that she didn't come forward for personal gain or attention, "I just want the people that were involved to understand what they are doing, and what they did to someone."
"I just want them to stop, because this is the kind of thing that people commit suicide over."
What do you think of Emily's story? Let us know in the comments!