Mass. woman says comic book store fired her after she revealed alleged ‘rape room’
Police in Salem, Massachusetts are reportedly looking into a local woman’s allegation that she was harassed while briefly working at a comic book store that also contained a “rape room.”
This story has been updated. Please see below.
Bleeding Cool reported that the woman, Jennifer Williams, posted online that “the owner’s friend Julian” told her about the nickname for one of the store’s storage rooms last week. She also said the man put his arm around her without her consent.
“On Saturday I was given a tour of the store. The back room was introduced as the rape room,” she wrote on Wednesday. “I said ‘That’s not okay.’ He replied ‘It is if they can’t talk.’ Same person (a man) later came up to me and put his arm around me and pulled me to him without provocation or my permission. For the duration of my shifts on Saturday and Sunday I kept silent about it. I did my work with enthusiasm. I was praised repeatedly for my work, was privately told I was one of the employees they were going to keep on, and was given extra hours for the week to reflect this.”
Williams said she went to the store’s owner following her shift on Sunday and told him about the encounter, only to be “brushed off” because of the owner’s friendship with the manager.
“I was off on Monday and when I went for my shift yesterday I was not even allowed in the store,” she stated. “The guy who made the rape joke blocked my entrance and told me I was fired. I fully admit I could be wrong but this does not seem like a coincidence.”
At the time, Williams had allegedly worked for the store for four days. The store’s only response thus far to the allegations has been on Twitter, where the owner wrote, “I was not even aware that she had been let go but according to others it was just that they feel she wouldn’t work.”
Update, 6:02 p.m. EST: Harrison’s Comics told The Raw Story that the store plans to release a statement regarding Williams’ allegations on its Facebook page “within the next 24 hours.”
[Image via Harrison’s Comics & Pop Culture official Facebook page]