Multiple Experiences

Man (20’s) drove up to the bus stop I was sitting at and asked my name, where I lived, and if I needed a ride. Persisted when I said no. I was 15.

Man (40’s) sitting across from me at the front of the bus I took home from school every day, comments he wanted to see what was under my skirt. I was 16.

Man (didn’t see his face) grabbed my ass with both hands and muttered something before getting on the train: I was 17

The number of leers, “bitches”, stares, close sitters, “accidental” brush-ups in the last decade since then are too many to count. These sickos get away with it because the first thought in a woman’s mind is “How will this end?” when something like that happens, and I think most women are willing to change buses or trains, or shell out money for a cab, or do whatever they need to to get out of the situation. But personally, I never see transit cops on the last trains at night, or keeping an eye on anything other than collecting fares. And I agree – the emergency alarm strip is completely useless for someone who is the victim of harrassment – if the harasser sees her hit it, things will likely only escalate.

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