Oxfam worker describes two cases of alleged abuse in Haiti and South Sudan
‘I was screaming for help,’ the woman told the BBC.
A woman employed by Oxfam has described how she was physically abused and assaulted on two occasions whilst working for the charity.
In an anonymous interview with the BBC, the woman said she had always dreamed of working for Oxfam – currently embroiled in the aid worker sex scandal.
Employed as a junior aid worker following the earthquake in Haiti, the woman claimed that the first incident happened during her first time working for the charity, when a senior colleague attacked her.
“He literally just pinned me up against the wall – was groping me, grabbing me, kissing me and I was just trying to shove him off,” she said.
Describing how he “got mad” when she eventually got him off her, the woman said he threw his glass causing it to shatter, and revealed that as they got in the car to go home he tried to sit next to her.
“I was scared so I got out and I went to sit in the back,” she said. “I didn’t fall out of my seat, he just threw me out of my seat and then pinned me into the ground.
“One of my colleagues, a woman who was actually also my roommate, reached back and tried to grab me and pick me out.
“I was hitting him and kicking him and she helped me, and I got back into the middle seat and I jumped out into the front seat on the passenger side.
“As soon as we got home I just ran out of the car and ran into my room, I didn’t want to say anything.”
It felt like for so long, I was exhausted and I was just crying, I didn’t know what to do Abuse victim
Following a New Year’s Eve party in South Sudan, the woman said she was attacked once more, again by another colleague.
“I went into my room and was starting to undress and go to sleep and he just walked in, shoved me on the bed and tried to rip my clothes – I mean he did rip some of my clothes off,” she said.
“And he got naked – forced himself – I was shoving, kicking and pushing and just screaming for anyone.”
She said he eventually got up and went outside, allowing her to shut and block the door – stopping him from coming back into her room.
“I just stood at the door with all my might keeping it pushed shut, as he was pushing from the other end,” she said.
“It felt like for so long, I was exhausted and I was just crying, I didn’t know what to do, I was screaming for help, I thought someone would come and help me, but nobody came.”
Oxfam has been accused of covering up claims that staff used prostitutes while delivering aid to disaster-stricken Haiti 2011, and in the wake of the allegations has promised a wide-ranging reform plan.