My Name is Layla

MY WORST MOMENT

Professor “Player” took advantage of me while I was new at the school and vulnerable.  This included a one night stand.  He dumped me shortly after as he had already gotten what he wanted.   The math department also opted out of hiring me.  Professor “Benedict” from my department, the forensics department, was quite enraged when I told him.  He convinced me to file a Title IX case against Professor Player.  When the retaliation set-in, almost immediately, Professor Benedict befriended me, became my confidante, became my research advisor, and eventually engaged me in a romantic relationship.  While Professor Benedict and I were dating, he reported me and spread lies and rumors about me in our department.  When I asked for the relationship to remain professional, he suspended my research and cut me off from the lab.  During the Title IX investigation, he flat-out lied about the nature of the relationship, saying that I initiated it and there was only some touching over the pants…far from the truth.

I HAVE GIVEN UP ON

Justice.

I’M AFRAID

I believe that Professor Benedict is engaged in illegal activities.  Thus, the retaliation involves people who are just plain scary and who say things such as,  “they would do anything to keep a secret.”

THIS HAS COST ME

I lost one job because I had to report the relationship with Professor Player on a security clearance form.  I am applying for security clearance jobs and fear the retaliation will be an impediment.  The stress during the four years while this was ongoing had a significant impact on my health.  My focus throughout my time at this school was on my safety and well being, rather than on my studies.  I also lost $4000 because I dropped Professor Player’s course when the flirting was constant.  I have lost the opportunity to use those in my department as job references.  Some of my property was stolen in retaliation.  I am still working to recover my reputation.

SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW

Before 9/11, while I was at a different school, I was targeted by human traffickers who spread rumors about me that followed me for two decades.  (These people were not directly affiliated with the university.)  I had to take a medical withdraw.   I graduated with a double Bachelor of Science degree in the STEM fields just before the recession.  During the recession I was homeless and became a victim of domestic violence.   I cannot tell you some of the other things that have happened to me because no one will believe me.  I have been through a lot.  The frustrating part is that, despite having five degrees all in the STEM fields, Murphy’s Law is still in control.

IS THERE A BRIGHT SIDE?

Recently, I found an academic advisor who has had a similar betrayal in his life.  He understands.  He is well-known, well-respected, and well-trusted.  He believes in me and conveys that to others.  Without him, my reputation would be un-recoverable.  Also, I am really good at managing my response to bad stuff.  I feel like superwoman!

MY SECRET WEAPON

Surprisingly, I have been through worse and I am psychologically resilient.   I know this is not my fault and I do not take crap from anyone who says otherwise.  And,…thanks to you all, people are talking and becoming aware that this is a real problem that needs to be solved.