Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbia MO, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
New submission from Layla
I was on the way home on the 6 bus from Oxford Street, at about 5pm last week when this happened. The bus was fairly packed but I managed to find a pair of seats free on the upper deck. About two stops into my journey (Marble Arch), a man came up onto the top deck carrying a very large, bulky, bag. I didn’t take too much notice of him as I was in my own world, listening to music and looking out the window.
He sat beside me and immediately I felt that he was sitting far too close to me, with his thigh pressed firmly against mine and his huge bag placed on his lap. I tried to covertly edge away from him, I didn’t want to make it too obvious just in case he wasn’t meaning to sit like that. I crossed my legs and tried to tell myself that I was being silly and sensitive, until I started to feel his hands rubbing just above my elbow. I realised that the massive bag was being used as a means to hide what his hands were planning on doing.
Even though he was clearly touching me, I STILL tried to ignore it, I started to feel really nervous and sick. After about 30 seconds, he began pinching my arm and reaching towards my waist. I got up at that point, he looked very pissed off but he let me pass, and got off the bus and had to walk the rest of the way home (40 mins!) because I had no change or cash, and no money on my oyster. I felt really anxious and fearful the whole rest of the evening. Now on this bus, I feel on edge the whole time because I’m afraid that man will get on. Is there nowhere in this world that a woman can just be left alone!
P.S. It’s horrible to feel too scared to vocalise your outrage on a bus packed with people, because you feel that even the other passengers might think you’re taking it too seriously, or not believe you. This is rape culture!
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