Dada, 30, Tbilisi

„I live with my father in a rented apartment. Dad has a heart disease and he needs 100 GEL worth medications per week. My mother is a migrant to Spain. It so happened that the senior citizen my mom was taking care of, passed away and mom we left without work. By misfortune, I was unemployed at that time and I was forced to find a job so that dad and I did not end up in the streets. In October 2015, I started work at the First University Clinic. I am a lawyer by training but I was hired in the department of infrastructure. After a 2-week internship the General Director of the clinic, breast care (mammology) specialist Irakli Kokhreidze picked me as his assistant and raised my net salary to GEL 720.

This is where my story starts. My responsibility was to accept patients, serve as an interpreter with foreign guests, make coffee, and endure humiliation from “Mister” Irakli…

“Mister” Irakli drank in his office on a daily basis. In that condition, he received patients and did surgeries. He was tipsy the first time he told me I had nice manner of walking. I let it go and took it as a meaningless compliment. Besides, I was afraid of the drunken “Mister” Irakli: he yelled, banged his fist on the table and threatened to fire me.

Gradually, his harmless compliments degraded to insults. Drunk, he would growl: “Dada come in here, I have an urgent matter with you!” I would go in with a notepad and a pen to make notes. And he would order me to lock the door and tell me how much he wanted to screw me (quoting “Mister” Irakli) and outright demanded that I go with him to spend a night together.

Initially, I thought it was alcohol speaking and once he sobered he would realize his mistake. I was also ashamed to share it with my colleagues and tried to solve this problem without external help and reason with him. Not once nor twice have it told him: “Mr. Irakli, I am not giving you any motive to treat me like that, I don’t wear provocative clothing, I don’t respond to your jokes and I just try to do my job.” Do you know what he responded? “That’s that point, I am popular with women and who the hell are you to refuse me?!”

Do you think I don’t have self-respect or dignity? I do, like all the other people. But remaining without salary meant that dad and I would be left without shelter. That is why, I tried to bear with it, hoping that mom would find another patient to care of in Spain and I would change jobs…

On my days off, “Mister” Irakli used to call me and insist on my going with him somewhere. Of course, I refused. Once he tricked me into going to Bakuriani, saying he needed an interpreter to communicate with a foreign guest who had arrived for the breast cancer conference. He picked me up together with a driver, but it turned out that he did not actually need an interpreter, the guest who sat in another car, was fluent in Russian. On the way, they stopped at a restaurant and only after they were quite drunk, we finally arrived in Bakuriani. I asked him to let me go back, because I was obviously not needed there. But he made such a scene that… I was scared and was quiet. In Bakuriani, he decided to show me his apartment. I asked the driver to accompany us and not to leave me alone, but as soon as we went into the apartment, the driver left us and I was alone with him. That was the first time he physically assaulted me. Good thing, I am strong too, I broke free and ran away…

I could not tell this story to anyone. My only hope was the driver and when “Mister” Irakli required from me to stay at work overtime, I begged the driver not to leave me, but Niko was “Mister” Irakli’s friend and he couldn’t betray his pal, could he?

He treated me like an object. Once he asked me if I made coffee and poured whiskey for him, how come I refused to sleep with him? He added he was my boss and I was to do his bidding or else I would go unemployed.

After the Bakuriani incident, he kept oppressing me. He would ask for me, and as soon as I was in his office, demanded that I sit on his lap or kiss him. My refusal maddened him, he would start yelling at me. I was stressed on a daily basis; sometimes I would hide, push him away, or ask Niko for help…

It was February 1. He came to work hung over. 16 patients were waiting for him but as soon as he stepped inside, he ordered me to tell these people to wait for him as he was going to a conference and would be back soon. The patients were outraged. Imagine, some of them had a pretty bad diagnosis and urgently needed to be examined. “Mister” Irakli returned from the conference in the afternoon drunk, kicked the door open and told me that he couldn’t receive anyone. I went out to the patients and told them that the doctor had a high pressure. I always tried to protect his reputation in the eyes of the patients, I cared about the image of the clinic as I was working there and it mattered to me. Besides, I was the one dealing with the patients and I was sorry about the way they were treated. He sat in his office and kept drinking until evening. He did not let me go home. Later, when all the employees had left, he called me to his office and promised that if I agree to have sex with him, he would promote me. He advised me to look at other women, how they used their body, especially “that part of their body”, to achieve success, climb to the top and receive solid salaries. When he received my refusal again, he started calling me names, that we, women are stupid, cannot use our opportunities and that he, Irakli Kokhreidze, was my only chance of career growth. I am very ashamed to tell this story, and I am all the more ashamed that I did not dare tell it before… That was the first time I threatened him that if he did not stop the abuse, I would go to the Rector of the Medical University and tell on him. He laughed his head off. He told me I would be a laughing stock, nobody would believe me.

It turned out that my threat had affected “Mister” Irakli and in a few days he made an appointment with me. Meanwhile, he kept pushing and humiliating me, still telling me how much he wanted to screw me (again quoting him). He demanded that I resign from work because there were rumors about us and his reputation would suffer. Then he eyed me carefully and asked me if I would use my last chance. When I refused, he demanded that I write a resignation letter. I was furious, wrote the letter in the heat of the moment and left. The next day I realized I had made a mistake, if he wanted to dismiss me, he should have written the order. With my letter of resignation he would hush up the whole business. I demanded my letter back. It hadn’t been registered with the secretariat yet. They returned the letter, but then blamed me for stealing it. Absurd, isn’t it?

Obviously, I informed the Rector of the Medical University. I was promised immediate measures and his dismissal from work. No measures were taken, though. On the contrary, he was promoted to the position of the Vice-Rector.
I felt utterly humiliated and decided to act on my one. I found women’s rights defenders on the internet and filed a complaint against “Mister” Irakli. I have a video recorded on my phone which is my only evidence. The final hearing will be held on 21 December. Let’s see what happens…

Dear women, who have been in the same situation, do not let them intimidate you, don’t be ashamed to speak up, because even if you don’t find many supporters you will help other women who have been victims of sexual abuse. If I win the case, it my and your victory as well…” -