A former estate agent has spoken out about the trauma of being raped by her manager, prompting many other women to share similar stories.
Industry training consultant Clare Yates admits she had buried the abuse for 25 years which happened in the office while working as a part-time negotiator for a leading Home Counties estate agency in the mid-90s.
Speaking on Christopher Watkins’ YouTube channel, Yates said it happened late one afternoon as the office was closing.
“My manager drove me to his home where I was raped a second time and then dropped home at 5.30pm to bath my kids,” says Yates.
“I never told my husband or children. There was a veiled hint from one of the other girls who said, ‘Have you had the special treatment yet?’ and it became apparent that I probably wasn’t the only female employee who had been assaulted in that way.” Her abuser has subsequently died.
Since sharing her story, Yates says she’s spoken to other estate agent women who have suffered assault in the workplace but kept silent.
“One had been offered as a promise in return for a contract and told by her boss not to come back unless she got it,” she says.
Yates wants to give other women the confidence to speak out as well as to start the conversation about sexual abuse in workplaces and has even given out her number publicly in the hope she can help anyone else suffering in silence. She also wants the men who witness predatory behaviour to call it out.
She adds: “If I had my time again I’m not sure if I would report it – I didn’t tell anyone because I was ashamed and thought I’d asked for it. There is that terror that we will be seen as trouble makers or won’t be believed.”
Leading industry recruiter Nicola Broomham says: “It is incredibly brave of Clare to go public with this story and I hope it initiates a debate among all estate agents about creating a safe space for female agents to work and how to ensure they aren’t exposed to sexually predatory men both within the industry and the public.”