On the underground in London when I was in my early 20s. A man kept leering at me and looking at me up and down. He moved up the carriage when it emptied out a bit and started making sexually explicit remarks. I ignored him and tried to catch the eye of anyone on the train that might help me. Nope, not one person was going to assist me. Didn’t want to get involved. My stop came and I got off, he followed and was now shouting at me and trying to grab me and I kept saying loudly, leave me alone, I don’t know you. Again nobody helped. I ran up the stairs as quickly as I could. I knew the station well and slipped into a little sandwich bar where I’d always buy a coffee and the staff knew me. I ran to the back of the place and said I was being followed and would they hide me. They hid me round the counter (it was a tiny place). I saw the man outside looking for me, but he didn’t come in. The staff were lovely, they let me into their tiny staff room. Gave me a coffee and called my workplace, I was too distressed to call myself.
They asked for a a colleague to come and get me. Unfortunately, work sent my boss who is also a sexist piece of shit and I never heard the last of how he ‘rescued’ me.
I’ll always by grateful to those people in the coffee shop. Who knows what could have happened? This was all around 7:30am in crowded public place, broad daylight. I now think the man may have had mental health problems to be that I worried about his behaviour.
This isn’t the only incident. I’ve been touched up on a bus, train and cat called more times than I care to remember. Now my poor daughter is getting the same vile treatment.
I’ve taught her not to take it and to always call out abhorrent behaviour and she does. Having siblings she has also learned to think on her feet and can give clap back to any remarks. I’m so proud of her – although she shouldn’t need to, I’m still glad she can and will take no shit.