Orbit Medical's Response to Harassment is Exactly Why Victims Don't Come Forward

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Orbit Medical has chosen whitewashing their brand over dealing with a victim of harassment. Sadly, they aren't in the minority. Even though the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement has led to greater accountability for abusers and those who shelter them, how they are handling my harassment claims is why most victims like myself infuriate those who love us by not reporting bad behavior. Especially if our abuser is an affluent white male. Their value is greater than ours because they are an asset

I didn't think this week would end with me becoming an activist, but here we are... I'm activist-ing all over the place. 

If you want a recap of the events of Wednesday afternoon leading up to this post, you can read it here

In the interest of fairness, I do want to let everyone know that the harassment has stopped entirely since I reported it. It's been very quiet on my ex-husband's end, so obviously some action of some kind was taken. And honestly, I'm not even interested in him losing his job or taking down Orbit Medical... if they want to keep him employed and offer him counseling services? All the better. 

The only problem is, I have no idea what's been done. They have not contacted me publicly or privately to simply say, "Thank you for the information. We will investigate." 

That's LITERALLY all they had to say. 

Instead, they went radio silent after, "You must have the wrong company. PM me." 

And if you believe my ex-husband, which grain of salt, they had a good laugh about my Twitter accountability sesh of screenshots. You know, the ones where he called me a whore in 8 different company emails. That's hysterical. 

The fact the gloating stopped leads me to believe they are taking action. I've also been blocked from all of my children's phones and social media, so I'm being punished for something. That's fine. Keep digging, bro. I got nothing but time. 

As I went to update everyone on Twitter as I had promised, because this isn't getting swept under the rug, I saw that Orbit Medical had blocked me. 

So now I'm the perceived problem. Sharing screenshots of being called a whore on company email, the contact information of the perpetrator, the screenshot of the gloating text send from CHILDREN'S phones minutes after I initially reached out to them....It's OFF BRAND! She won't SHUT UP! We hired a maniac with an extensive violent criminal history, but does she have to be so VOCAL? 

*BLOCKED*

Welp, now I'm mad. I didn't harass anyone. I took to a public platform, which is my right, and demanded accountability. I don't want to burn anyone to the ground, but I will demand ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of some kind. 

You want to know why in 15 years I have never had an employer hold my ex-husband accountable? 

This. I am going to someone for help and accountability, and I have been dismissed and ignored. He's an asset, and my outspokenness is a brand liability. 

I had to fight tooth and nail to have my ex's bond revoked for continued harassment three years ago, to the point of actually having to act like a raving lunatic because the state's attorney, my ADVOCATE was like, "Can't you just block and ignore him?" 

Sorry, my arm is in a cast and I have had to move across the country because he wouldn't quit following me around. I'm owning enough responsibility here. 

Orbit Medical has to own some responsibility without whitewashing what has transpired. They hired a man who is very good at his job, with a rap sheet dating back to the 80s. Sure he's lucked out with them all being misdemeanors because Illinois is wonky in criminal law (You will get a felony assault charge for punching someone in a bar because alcohol is present, but if you beat someone in your family to a pulp, it's misdemeanor domestic abuse. Violating a restraining order is also a misdemeanor the first time.) and according to my ex, he was questioned about it before getting hired. Illinois requires ALL healthcare workers to have specific background checks. None of his convictions are on the list of disqualifiers. This allows a cute explaining away of his past as "crazy women and misdemeanor good times." 

And because he's an asset, a company will take on the liability. He should work, he should have a job. He is a horrible human being, but he does help a lot of people with his skills. 

However, Orbit Medical, when he behaves badly, on your company email and phone, you cannot simply close ranks and whitewash everything. You HAVE to acknowledge it and not make the victim feel embarrassed or ashamed for blowing the whistle publicly. You have to revisit that background check and see the distinct pattern of behavior he exhibits and had exhibited before he even knew me. You have to see that alcohol and violence are a real problem. If he was convicted of violating a protective order three years ago, and he's sending EIGHT rapid fire emails calling the mother of his children a whore... there is a PROBLEM, and it's not my outspokenness. It's your employee. Plain and simple. If he's an asset to your company, invest in getting him help. Require he complete rigorous treatment. If he's grossly embarrassed you and violated company policy? Send a message and FIRE him, or discipline him. 

By blocking the person who blew the whistle, you protect the abuser. If the allegations aren't savory, or you don't want eight emails with the word 'whore' on them attached to your social media? Maybe reach out to the victim and start a dialogue. If I would have gotten a tweet or a message asking for dialogue or given a real email address to submit the screenshots privately instead of the run around through your company directory, I probably would have deleted the tweets. 

Instead, Orbit Medical, you decided to pretend it didn't happen. So now here's a blog post calling you out. You chose to shame me instead of taking a small amount of public responsibility. Small. "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are investigating." It's appalling to make someone look or feel wrong for standing up for themselves to protect your brand. What if there's another abused spouse in your company seeing the way you're treating me, and it keeps them from coming forward and seeking help? I even feel foolish on some level and I'm 100% in the right. That's the shame you implant in being dismissive and in protecting your business, you perpetuate the cycle of abuse. You have empowered my ex-husband to perhaps gloat later and say things like, "They think you're crazy and didn't believe you. They even blocked you on Twitter." 

Your silence and dismissiveness has EMPOWERED him even if he has suffered consequences. 

That's why victims don't come forward. No one wants to take on the mess. 

You can't avoid the mess, Orbit Medical. You hired the guy and were lax in monitoring his email and phone activity. I finally had enough and took to my platforms to speak out. Sorry I'm passionate about being heard and acknowledged this time, and it's messy for your brand. But you have to be brave and deal with it. 

You have to do better. 

 

Jennifer Gulbrandsen