By Echo Huang, CPA, CFP®, CFA
As the Harvey Weinstein story has been in the news for the past month, I am grateful to see more women having the courage to raise awareness of sexual harassment in workplaces and protect more women. One of my “Me Too” stories happened many years ago when I was about 19 years old in China.
After graduating with an accounting diploma from Shenzhen School of Business and Economics at age 17, I received a great job offer to become an accountant at the Bank of China, Shenzhen Branch. In this, my first full-time job, I was paid more than my parents, who were high school teachers, had ever been paid. I felt excited to spread my wings to fly far away and I requested a placement to the office in Shekou, a small seaside town about 30 miles from my parents’ home. I moved into the two-story building the bank provided, where each person had own room and shared the two bathrooms at the end of each floor. I liked my room at the corner on the second floor as it had a door to an outside large balcony.
On a winter night, a few days before the Chinese New Year, I went to bed as usual after listening to soothing piano music and studying English. It was a dark and cold night (there were no heaters in the rooms back then). I put an extra blanket on the top of my comforter and closed my eyes.
I woke up suddenly in the middle of the moonless night, feeling a great weight on top of me. Before I could react, duct tape covered my mouth. I opened my eyes, but couldn’t see him in the darkness, even though he was close. He was sitting right on top of me with the comforter and blanket between him and me. His right hand was pressing the duct tape on my mouth very hard. I immediately used my left hand to grab his right wrist and then my right hand to grab his left wrist, feeling his metallic watch band. He didn’t say a word. I was so afraid, but my natural instinct told me to get out of there fast! Holding onto both of his wrists tightly I twisted to my left, trying to shake him off my small bed.