Lady in Fear

in the year 2006 or 2007 I don’t  remember well I took the train from Broadway to  Nanaimo , I used to lived about 4 blocks away from the station. that evening I walked about two blocks down and two or three young men followed me from the station and  insulted me  for being black , I was told to get lost from here to return to Africa where slaves were . They hit me so hard and threatened me  to hit me worse if  the police was  warned . I was told they  knew who I am and where my  house was located. They told me that if they see something strange around my house they will kill me . That experience was so bad that I end up in the hospital took exams in the face, but was never able to denounce . Today when I find this blog I realize that the situation would have been different if I had dared to denounce, those damn misfits are everywhere , and for someone like me who was  fleeing the violence of my country was even worse . that period of time  was so hard specially  because I left a country where violence against women is at high levels, to meet these cowards here. I hate not having the courage to denounce , but now at least I can write about it.

It was very painful to see my face completely swollen I know time has passed and there is nothing We can do but I also know that, that experience was so traumatic that sometimes I still have dreams with them

Telling Stories in Different Formats

A previous submitter to our site has developed a pitch and a script for a film project about events very relevant to the theme of this blog. In her words: 

I have recently applied to get a $10,000 production grant to make my short film, and I need your help!!

Essentially, it is a story about how trauma and sexual assault can have a lasting effect on the mind and the body. The script aims to create awareness and also fight against rape culture and victim blaming. Even though it is fiction, the script draws a lot from my own personal experiences. One of the assaults in the script happens on public transit.

 My video pitch has been approved by Telus for the Storyhive short film competition here in Vancouver, and if it receives enough VOTES online I will be able to claim one of ten Storyhive production grants.

 All you have to do is register as a community voter and vote for my project “PRESSING CHARGES” 

 Click the link below to watch my video pitch, and read my project details (logline, synopsis, etc.) if you like what you see: VOTE!! (X5)

 http://www.storyhive.com/project/show/id/26

 Anyone can sign up as a community voter, you do not have to be from, or living in Vancouver.

 Just select your voting location as ‘Vancouver’ and vote for my project “PRESSING CHARGES”

 You will have ten votes to distribute to all of your favourite projects, but you can vote up to five times on any one project SO PLEASE VOTE FOR MINE MULTIPLE TIMES!!

 Then please share this link with your friends, family, and social networks to help me get more votes!

 Your help and support means the world to me!!!

Heidi J. Loos

Project Global Guardian

Yesterday, the founders of this blog attended a press conference with the Transit Police, in support of their participation in Project Global Guardian. This campaign seeks to bring international attention to the issue of sexual harassment and assault on public transit; other transit policing forces from Boston (MA), London (UK) and Washington (D.C.) are also involved.

We are extremely pleased with the response of the Transit Police to this particular problem–they are making it one of their primary focuses over the next year. They have officially launched their texting initiative (87-77-77 for non-emergency situations. Please text your location, description and a description of the perp if you are using this service) and have announced the imminent launch of their On Duty mobile app, both of which are intended to simplify discreet reporting.

Reporting offences of this nature is an initial step in demonstrating the unacceptability of harassment and assault. If you See Something (or if something happens to you), we implore you to Say Something.

 

Vancouver Sun’s article on the project: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Transit+police+target+offences/9711920/story.html

CBC Video featuring yours(x2) truly: http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/BC/ID/2447526278/

Who Even Knows With These Aggro Bros??

Thanks for starting this project. These stories are horrifying to read, but also so, so important to discuss and acknowledge and validate. I just learned about this blog today, and I’m really glad that I have this venue to air my grievances.

I was on the 19 Metrotown this evening on my way home from work. The bus wasn’t particularly crowded, and I was standing by the back door.  Somewhere along Pender, a red-haired man, slightly stocky, maybe 5’6, got on and immediately yelled at an older woman in the aisle to “Get out of my way! Watch where  you’re going!” So, you know, great first impression. He came to stand next to me, and made another comment about “stupid people getting in the way, idiots, blah blah.” I ignored him. From pretty much right away, I could feel him staring at me from the overly-close proximity that public transit affords, and after a couple minutes, he says, “You know, you look really good today, miss.” Again, I completely ignored him. Dude, I just saw you yell at an old woman, but wait, you think I’m pretty? Watch me swoon.

When a seat in front of the door was vacated, he made a big show of offering it up to me. I took it, and said thanks, and hoped that would be the end of our interaction. But no. He then starts going on about lazy people taking the bus when they could be walking–apparently in reference to a woman who had just rung the bell after riding for what he deemed to be too short of a distance. He got right in her face when she was getting off, calling her lazy, and finally I had hit my tolerance level for him being a jerk to undeserving people. I turned around, told him to shut up, and turned back to face the front of the bus.

He then proceeded to move in close behind me and tell me, “I should slap you in the head with my dick.”

SO NOT OKAY. I froze, not knowing what to do, but then my adrenaline took over and I stood up on autopilot and yelled “THIS MAN IS MAKING COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE COMMENTS AND I WOULD LIKE SOMEONE TO GET HIM OFF THE BUS PLEASE.” There was a moment when no one said anything, and then the guy mutters, “I’ll get myself off the bus,” and slinks off at the Main St stop.

I’m bold and sassy and even I freeze up when a man says something like this. It is so unexpected and so degrading and so incredibly uncalled for. Thanks to the ladies who spoke to me after the man saw himself off the bus–in those moments, having strangers reassure me that I’m not crazy for feeling and reacting as I did is a huge comfort. Nothing is worse than having something like that happen, and then everyone just pretends they didn’t notice. Plus, one of them kindly directed me to this blog.

Also, maybe I’m doing something wrong, but I’m having trouble finding a way to email a harassment complaint to Translink / the Transit Police. Like, this is really personal, so I’m not comfortable sending it to Translink’s general complaints people who deal with late buses etc. And I’d rather describe my incident in more detail than texting the Transit Police number would allow, and I don’t particularly want to call the associated number and be forced to say the words “slap you in the head with my dick” and then probably start crying.

Another Time, Another Place, The Same Old Story

I grew up in Northern Ireland in the 1960′s. Male sexual harassment was endemic. It used to annoy me most using the bus to go to school. You would sit on your own in a nearly empty bus and a man should sit beside you and do the frotteur trick of widening his legs and rubbing against you. Or you would get a man in the seat behind you trying to fondle you through the gap in the seat.  I adapted to this by sitting beside other women, choosing the side seats so men couldn’t get behind me, never sitting g where I could be trapped on the inside, staying near the driver and putting my bags beside me as barriers. Beautiful women have hell in public places, as men will just walk up to them and solicit them or grab them or kiss them. In Northern Ireland the women responded to this by androgenising their appearance to the extent that they could be mistaken for men – then the harassment stops. One beautiful friend had so much trouble with men grabbing her in public she masculinised her appearance so much girls thought she was a handsome guy and started eyeing her up. In the UK most buses have CCTV so you don’t get so much of that problem now.

Valentine’s Villain

Dear Bully,

Don’t remember me? Well let’s see. You touched my butt. Then when I attempted to block your gropey hands, you proceeded to invade my private space, and hurt me by jabbing me with your hips, arms, and backpack. And when I finally picked up the nerve you confront you, the bully that you are, you called me an idiot and scampered away.

Need more help remembering? This happened on 14th February. At around 7:40 to 7:50am. You got your cowardly ass off at the Stadium-Chinatown skytrain station.

Here’s the thing. As promised, I’ve reported your actions to the police. Your likeness has been sketched. I will spread your likeness, image, and actions far and wide. Don’t sleep too easy tonight because they are looking for you.

You’ve messed with the wrong girl.

Sincerely yours,
Angry Asian Girl

Bully stats: slim pale english-speaking caucasian young male (25-30yo), around 5ft4, brown hair with a faint bald patch on his crown. Dressed in a black windbreaker, wearing a black backpack, black pants. Face: brown eyes, weak features, tiny yet thick lips. The less interesting version of Verbal Klint.

Trapped and Terrified (18/f)

For the sake of your data analysis, I am an 18 year old female. Asian to Chinese parents, born and raised here with English as my first language.

 

I didn’t know if my story would be taken seriously until a different girl came forward with a similar experience. I’m sorry I was silent until now. I didn’t know where to report what happened to me. I was afraid to call and have to speak to someone and relive what happened. I’m not good at telling this sort of thing over the phone. I never reported it until now, and I don’t know if the contact page for Translink counts.

 

It happened during October 2013, at around 6:40pm or so. I don’t remember the exact day it happened. I don’t like to remember. I got on the 321 White Rock Center at Surrey Central and it was already very dark outside. I saw a man who I thought looked Caucasian, skinny, in worn out brown clothing with a small bag and a skateboard. He had a lot of stubble and was wearing a toque, but I could tell from his eyebrows he had dark hair. I guessed he was in his late twenties to forties. He did not sit next to me, at the back of the bus. I sat in the window seat across the back exit doors. Nothing happened until we started to go down King George Highway into White Rock. The bus had less than 10 people. He moved to the seat next to me, blocking my way out. I thought that maybe his stop was coming up, but I was still freaked out that he sat next to me when the bus was so empty. He propped his bag where his feet should be, and put his skateboard to his right, boxing the both of us in the seats. I prayed he was only trying to be comfortable, but he started to spread his legs out more and angled his body more in my direction, like he was waiting for me to look at him. He kept rubbing his thigh against mine, but I kept looking ahead, terrified of him but too afraid to do anything. He got more persistent and started to thrust his lower body at me, and I just started to cry. The surrey park and ride was coming up so I knew I just had to move to the driver, so I pulled the string to have an excuse to get out of the seat. When we stopped we got up, but he opened the back door, stepped out and turned around like he was waiting for me. I sat back down and the driver pulled out and off. This man stared at me almost in disbelief and I was too upset to say anything to my driver.

 

What happened to me has made me terrified on any public transit. I’m hyper aware and terrified when a man I don’t know sits next to me. Any movement they make I am conscious of, and I focus in on the fact that we are so close and I am so vulnerable. Rewriting and reliving this is incredibly difficult for me, but what happened to me wasn’t my fault, and I no longer want to be silent.