SuperDriver, Protector of Women Just Trying to Get Home (19/f)

I thought I’d share a story of a bus driver who was kind enough to go out his way for me one night.

When I was a 19-year-old student and first moved from Victoria I lived deep in Steveston and there were very few buses that could get me home late at night. Of course I would still go to downtown Vancouver sometimes on the weekend, drink, and take the last possible night bus home by myself. Yes, this could be dangerous activity for a young woman, but violence is never the fault of the victim, no matter what I drank, no matter what I was wearing, no matter how unlit the streets at the end of No.2 road were ten years ago. As far as I was concerned, I wasn’t going to limit my life by fear. I was young and invincible. I had bear spray.

Usually I was the last one on the bus which let me off to walk the twenty minute route home along unlit farmlands. I would at the back of the accordion bus and read a book for the long ride from the city. One night I had missed the last bus that would take me closest to home and had to settle one that would get as close as possible, a forty minute walk.

On an otherwise empty bus, a man came and sat down right next to me, essentially trapping me in the back corner seat. He commented on my outfit. “I like your skirt.” “Are your legs cold?” and eventually, “Where is your stop?” He continued by asking and then telling me to come home with him. I sat upright, I looked at him in the eye, and I kept responding with various versions of “no.” I held back my rapidly beating heart with what I hoped was a cold and strong exterior. I was terrified. My stop came, and I didn’t want to get up. I didn’t want to touch him as I brushed past, and even worse, I was petrified knowing he might follow me off.

Creepy guy eventually left the bus and I got up to ask the driver where this bus went and where we were. The kind driver said that after he got to the last stop he could then drive me all the way home on the bus – and he did. It was hours past midnight, he was at the end of his shift, but he did it anyways, and I can’t thank him enough.

Ever since, when I am the only one on a night bus, I sit right up near the front where the driver can hear and see me.

Not Your “Babes” (21/F)

I heard about this site and couldn’t believe how horrifying these encounters have been, and I just thought to myself “I’m so lucky to have not met any of these offenders”.

Until today. My female friend and I were taking transit and got off at the wrong stop, we ended up near Waterfront and were planning to either take the 16 or 14 to head back to Victoria Dr.

My friend and I wore long pants, non-low cut shirts and jackets/cardigans (for anyone wondering if it was because we were wearing anything “suggestive”, but you know, anything can happen in any types of clothes)

So the 5 comes to our stop and a man gets off, making small talk with the bus driver. Nothing too unusual but after his talk (exclaiming how interesting the bus driver’s blue spiky hair was), comes up to me and my friend and says “Hey babes.”

We both ignore him and thank goodness he moves away from us, but not even after a minute, 2 other females were walking past our bus stop and he calls them babes and asking how they are doing. In my head I was thinking is this real? I could see the annoyance on the 2 passing females.

Finally the 16 comes up and it turns out it was the same bus the man would be taking. He comes up to me and my friend and says “I’m going to shoot my load into the two of you so bad”.

After reading this site, I envisioned myself standing up and being “excuse me, your comments make me uncomfortable so get away from me”.

I just freaked out and headed straight to the bus, I heard him say behind me “Come on!” and walked behind me. Luckily I turned around and walked back to my friend who didn’t move (her move is to just ignore) and he got onto the bus and left us. I felt bad for the passengers on the bus because now they have to deal with him.

I have never felt so grossed out in my life. This man was quite heavy with a beer belly, had yellow teeth, balding and a bit of a beard. He appeared to be around his 50′s.

Transit Police Text Number

We want to take this opportunity to remind our readers that the Transit Police now have a non-emergency text line at their disposal, and yours!

Should you ever find yourself in a situation that appears potentially dangerous, or is personally troubling for you or someone else, you can contact Transit Police dispatch by texting your location, description, and perpetrator description to:

87-77-77

Responses will generally come within the minute, and officers are usually dispatched to the scene within about ten minutes, depending on proximity.

 

This is not intended to replace 911 for life or safety-threatening scenarios.

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/