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.