Pregnancy Scared

The most upsetting incident was 29 years old and eight months pregnant riding on a packed bus.  A man sat in the seat next to me.  He had his bag on his lap and was looking forward as if everything was normal.  I felt something in my lap and then I realized that behind his bag, he had moved his hand over to between my legs.  I was paralyzed and did not know what to do.  In hindsight, I should have yelled or asked the driver for help, but at the time I was frozen with fear.  I also have sexual abuse in my past, so I was very triggered by this.  I whispered for him to move his hand, I think I even said please and then he did and then he got off at the next stop.  It was an awful experience, both being so violated when I was pregnant and because I have been frustrated with myself that I did not do more to get help.  Four years later, I still think about it every time I am at the stop where he got off.  Last year while riding a busy sky train, I noticed that a man was videotaping my daughter in her stroller.  I asked him to stop and told him to delete the video.  I have no idea if he did.  It is one thing I dislike very much about unstaffed sky trains, there was no one to ask for help.  When I got off and told the security at my station, the train and him were gone and there was nothing they could do.  There needs to be more in place to protect us and more help available when things go wrong.


Wrecked Proposition

Thank you for creating this project!

A few years ago, when I was 19, I was a student at UBC and lived on campus. I was leaving my boyfriend’s residence and heading home to my own place across campus. It was dark, wet and I have never felt particularly safe walking on campus so I took a small shuttle bus (C22) to get home. While on the bus a young man, about my age, asked me for directions to Wreck Beach. This seemed a bit odd, given that it was winter, but I gave him the directions. The stop I told him to get off at is one stop past where I planned to get off the bus. I could feel his eyes on me so after I got off the bus I looked behind me. I saw nothing and I thought he was still on the bus. Then a minute later, as I am walking alone, this same guy popped out of the bushes just ahead of me and asked me if I was single. To this day I have no idea how he managed to run ahead without me hearing! I told him no, and I wasn’t interested. He kept persisting and asking for my phone number. I looked around and there was no one nearby to witness this or help me if he attacked. Finally he left, after saying I was being “mean”. I was scared to go home because I didn’t want him to see which building I lived in.
I took this bus to avoid feeling unsafe walking alone at night, and instead, I felt unsafe on transit. Let this be a warning to all the women at UBC given the recent assaults – Transit isn’t safe either.

Felonious Feline Imagery (23/F)

Last Saturday i was at the Royal Oak Sky Train Station at around 6:20pm  when this a man (around late 20’s early 30s) started staring at me uncomfortably and walking towards me. He was very short (around 5’3), Caucasian, had short blonde hair and he started saying things to me like “hello sexy kitty,” “aren’t you a sexy kitty,”  “meow,” and trying to walk behind me. I was very freaked out because I thought he might look up my skirt or grope me. As I was validating my ticket, he continually harassed me and started saying things like “I bet you’re a beautiful pussy” and other things along those lines. As I was walking up the stairs I noticed that he was touching and rubbing his crotch and he kept trying to come back and talk to me.  I noticed that he was going the same direction as me so I didn’t want to be on the same sky train as him so I walked to the other side, purposely walking far away from him so he wouldn’t follow me. The asshole still doesnt back off and  he walks to where I was at and starts harassing me again. I told him he should stop as he is making me feel very uncomfortable. At this point he was still rubbing his crouch very fervently.  Then the train pulls in to go East bound, he says to me, “ I really wish I can fuck you. You are so sexy, “ and “Asian persuasion.”

I felt soo disgusted, but the next time this ever happens to me, i am going to stand up for myself and tell him to fuck off and don’t harass women anymore. I feel that men like him harass women because he thinks that we are too timid and we are easy preys. The next time someone ever does that around me, I am going to say to him ” do you enjoy harassing women cuz your a scumbag and you should fuck off.”

All Dressed Up/Nowhere To Go

About a year ago I was taking the 99 B-line to my work at around 10 in the morning, I worked on main at the time. On this morning I decided to sit at the far back seat so I could look out the window as I traveled, but at about Granville (I think) two loud and obviously drunk men in their mid or late 20’s got on and stood in the isle, anyone knows that if people get on the bus like this and you make eye contact with them you are usually the person they will target, anyways this slipped my mind and for a split second one made eye contact with me and the next thing i new they were sitting next to me. I immediately began to regret taking the back window seat as i would now have to squeeze past these idiots before being able to get off. Admittedly I have an unusual fashion sense and have been teased about it for years by people like this and that day was no exception. These two started in asking “why you so dressed up?” and such questions which I tried to be as polite in answering as much as dismissive, I did not want to talk to them. After a short time I decided I had had enough and tried to get up, but they didn’t make it easy, as soon as i was standing they got more aggressive, “Look at this dressed up piece of shit like some sort of brokeback mountain fag”, at this point one of the guys threw a box at my back but I refused to turn around and participate. I turned to one woman on the bus who was trying to let them know what idiots they were and I let her know this is a regular thing for me and it happens more than one might think. luckily I didn’t turn around with the motivation of beating the worthless snot out of these punks as this would have only made things worse, instead I calmly left the bus after briefly turning to bid them a good life being douches. Thanks to this event I was so shaken when I got to work my boss confused my withdrawn and upset condition with some sort of spite towards her and I was fired. This story isn’t as dramatic or nearly as important as some of the other stories I have read but it played a very pivotal part in my life and i have never been able fully relax on the bus since.

Lower Back Louse (48/F)

I just remembered this when I saw your website featured on HuffPost.

When I was 14 or 15, 30-something years ago, I was riding a very crowded bus to a music concert in Vancouver.  The bus was standing-room only, so touching was unavoidable.  However, the man standing behind me, who I believe was white, in his 30s (?) and sadly, heading to the same destination as I, deliberately stood right behind me so he could press his erect penis into my lower back.  Once I realized what was happening, I maneuvered away, and he followed for a ways, then I lost him.  I was so embarrassed!  Why was I embarrassed?  I was scared, felt powerless, and dirty.  I realize now that I had forgotten about that incident.

Boozy Breast Grabber

I was 17 (31 now) & a happy first time mother. My mother had taken my son so my fiance & I could watch a movie or two. On our way back on the 169 we snagged the last 2 seats on a packed bus at the back, next to a man who reaked of alcohol. He started hitting on, to which I declined & cuddled closer to my fiance. He then started trying to touch my breasts & croch but I quickly covered them up, preventing him from doing so. I became flustered, my fiance restrained him, & I went to the bus driver to complain. The driver notified the police, who came & took a statement. I told them I wanted to press charges. They said no, because he was drunk & on his way to pick up his child as well, and that they would merely put him in the drunk tank. I know hold to my belief if that ever happens again I’m whipping out my bottle of perfume & hosing anyone down who thinks they have the right.

Two Tales of Trauma

I have been harassed on the skytrain more times than I can count on my hands. I recently graduated from SFU so I’m thankful that I don’t have to take the skytrain as much anymore. A few incidents stick out for me in which others could have stepped in. I was leaving work downtown around 11:30pm and was waking to waterfront skytrain station. A man began to follow me two blocks from the skytrain station and tried to talk to me but I ignored him. I started walking faster as he made repeated attempts to get my number and call me “baby” and “beautiful” and was walking backward in front of me in attempt to make me stop. I was extremely uncomfortable and scared. I just replied simple answers “No” and “Please leave me alone”. He continued to follow me inside the train station at which time I stopped as there were a number of transit police watching the commuters. I loudly said “I really don’t want to talk to you, please leave me alone, I’m not interested”. He got really pissed now and at no time did any of the transit cops come over. They just stood and watched everything unfold in the station. The man kept harassing me in front of them and kept saying why won’t you come with me and be with me. I didn’t want to go to my train as the platform isn’t the safest place to be alone, at least near all the people if the guy tried to grab me then I could make a big scene. I now hate taking the skytrain at night and it freaks the hell out of me at the thought of having to do it. And I will mention that it was summer so I was wearing jean shorts, a plain t-shirt, and sandals, nothing skimpy or revealing that would prompt this man to approach me in the first place! People need to be more respectful others, and I shouldn’t feel scared to take the skytrain.

A second incident occurred a few years back where a man actually took pictures of me with his cellphone while on the skytrain, again I was in plain clothes, the real kicker, a transit cop saw this and even said he just took your photo and I got upset. The transit cop did nothing about the situation. Who knows what the creep did with my pictures. I hope this dialogue will bring light to the problems that women face today. We should have to live in fear that someone will hurt us when we take public transit. I started talking intense one-on-one self defense classes so that I know how to protect myself should someone try to attack me. It’s expensive but my life to me is worth a lot more than what the sessions cost me.