Menagerie of Public Masturbation

1 – 8 years old, #41 bus in Vancouver, heading West on 41st Avenue, near Dunbar. My mom was at the front of the bus talking to a friend, I went to the middle of the bus and sat down alone. I noticed movement and looked to the left. A man in his 20’s had his penis out in his hand, and it was all red, he was masturbating and leering at me. I went and got my mom and told her I wanted to get off the bus. I didn’t tell her what happened until we were outside so it was too late to alert the driver.

2 – 14 years old, #22 bus-stop, at Broadway and MacDonald, in Vancouver. I was waiting for the bus in my school uniform and a middle-aged man waiting at the bus-stop across the street was masturbating in public with everything showing.

3 – 14 years old, #25 bus, heading along King Edward Ave near Cambie. An autistic man in his early 20’s pulled down his pants and underwear and shouted at me and my friend, waving his body at us.

4 – 15 years old, again, at the bus-stop at Broadway and MacDonald, a middle-aged man, masturbating across the street publicly.

5 – 15 years old, me and all my friends on the #9 Broadway bus, all of us female and wearing kilts. It was stuck turning left up Granville St. and a man started yelling at us for five minutes straight about how we were the “devil” and that we would “go to hell” for being evil girls. The bus driver did absolutely nothing. We were terrified.

6 – 17 years old, waiting for the bus at 6th and MacDonald, at┬ámidnight, a man is masturbating in the alleyway near the bus stop and yelling at me to have sex with him. Just then the #22 bus rolls up and I get on. Bertha my favourite “take-no-bullshit” bus-driver is working, I tell her about the man in the alley, and she says that if that ever happens again to flag down whatever bus I can and get on the bus for free if needed, to be safe.

7 – 17 years old, a man is masturbating openly at the back of the bus, somewhere downtown. I stand up and start yelling at him to stop masturbating and I go get the driver to help. The man runs off the bus.

8 – 18 years old, a man on the #9 Broadway bus sits by me and starts talking to me. I don’t want to talk, and he gets angry, and wants to continue to chat me up and get my phone number. I refuse, he continues to get angry in his tone and rude words, calling me names, but still asking for my phone number and my name. I move seats. No one does anything. I hate the bus.

These events all occurred in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Translink needs to pay attention and come up with some solutions. This harrassment and sexual predation on buses needs to stop. Women, everyone, have a right to ride the bus safely.

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