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New submission from AS
I got a cab from Kings Cross to North London at 10 am on a Saturday morning. As soon as I entered the cab the driver started with his lewd comments; who was the lucky man (from last night), was I single, how old was I. He declared he’d be first in line to take me home on a night out and then called his friend to say the same, shouting so I could hear. I felt so uncomfortable but felt by saying something I’d be put in my danger with him in control of the cab.
Something similiar happened in a booked cab the other day, when the driver spent an hour telling me about all the beautiful girls he picks up and that any girl in her right mind would ditch her career and become a stripper for the money.
Neither of these are as bad as when I lived in Cambridge and one night a cab driver got out to open the door for me and proceeded to grope me as I got out. I was too shocked and meek to say anything at the time but it still makes me angry now.
My experiences, and that of my friends, with cab drivers in the last year in London has meant I actually feel safer on the night bus when I’m alone, even though i have to walk down a mostly deserted street in the dark to get to my front door.
It started when I saw a black cab driver assault a woman one night on my street. I heard screaming, looked out my bedroom window and saw this cab driver punching this woman repeatedly in the back of his cab. Did the right thing and called the police, but he had gone by the time I got through to them, and so had she. I still wonder if she was okay and whether they caught the guy, got only a partial license plate so who knows…
Then a few months later a friend of mine was in another black cab when the driver refused to let her out of the car for a full five minutes, she said she was gripping her keys so hard during that time that she had imprints of them in her palm.
About a month ago a male friend and I got a cab together after a night out, he was going to another club so he got out about 15 minutes before me, leaving me alone. Almost the minute he left the cabbie starts chatting to me, and to be polite I talk to him, but in such a cold way it’s clear I would rather be left in silence. When we finally get to my house, after a couple of wrong turnings, he asks what i’m doing the rest of the night…I mean…really?! I’m going HOME, to BED. But I’m scared he’ll think I’m easy prey, and no one will miss me for a while if I say that so I tell him my housemates are waiting up for me, and we’re going to hang out. Then, icing on the creepy cab driver cake, he asks if he can come hang out with us. WTF? I begin to feel scared that if I don’t say yes he wont let me out the car, like with my friend, so I say sure and make a run for it, struggle with unlocking the door and pelt it up the stairs to wake up my housemates for help while he’s parking the car. Luckily i live with some boys so they were able to deal with him, but I didn’t stop shaking for about an hour after that and i haven’t got a cab since.
What makes these men think that this is okay? Furthermore, why do they assume that the women they are driving home are fair game? All I can say is, always make sure you get the taxi registration number, and preferably text it to a couple of your friends for added safety…