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How do you tell if your PhD supervisor is sexually harassing you?

Hi sciencephd

I just wanted to tell you that I have been through exactly what you have been through, I did a double take to make sure that we are not talking about the same person! When my supervisor used to touch me here and there I never thought it was of sexual nature, he was double my age, had an exceptionally stunning wife and since he was from my culture, I saw he acted very ‘paternal’ towards me. It never dawned on me that he could be a covert predator, until one day he grabbed my hand, kissed it and kept going while I froze. All the benefit of the doubt went out of the window but I was utterly confused. I was in such distress and all he said was don’t be sad, I love you.
I left the office and then raised a complaint, I must say, although I was hesitant it was dealt with really well. In the end he was sanctioned with 2 years on his record and if anyone else was to complain he would be dismissed. He is a world renowned doctor, I thought it would be a career suicide for me but then I thought of all the other people he can be doing this to and wanted justice. I knew if I was to remain silent it would eat me up later.
If I were you I would show it atleast in your actions that you’re not comfortable. If he carried on, write a record of when he touched you and how you felt.
Don’t ever be alone with him, my mistake was I never left the door open. He’s confident because he would have done this hundred of times before and it was left unreported. You’re not the first and won’t be the last, but you’re safety and respect as a human should come first. In this day and age, we shouldn’t have to put up with predatory behaviour. If there is a support system or union in place seek their input, if worst comes to worst then have your supervisor changed.
Stay safe