Unwanted Sexual Behavior On Public Transportation: Has This Ever Happened To You? If Yes, Did You Report It?

Unwanted Sexual Behavior On Public Transportation: Has This Ever Happened To You? If Yes, Did You Report It?
Human RightsWomen's Rights 6 Comments

“10% of passengers experience unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport in London but only 1 in 10 will report it.”

In response, Transport for London, the non-profit organization responsible for most aspects of London’s transport system, in conjunction with the Mayor of London, Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police, and City of London Police, released this film as part of a new, multi-layered Report It, To Stop It campaign that “aims to increase reporting of unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport.”

It follows a woman’s commute on London’s Tube where she experiences escalating incidents of unwanted sexual behavior. As the levels of the man’s contact get more intense and she gets more uncomfortable, the film visually prompts the viewer to choose if and at what moment they would report what’s happening.

They say their point is to get people to realize that “no incident is too minor” if it makes you feel uncomfortable. “You can report anything of a sexual nature, including rubbing, groping, masturbation, leering, sexual comments, indecent acts, or someone taking photos of you without your consent.” They drive their message home by going through a number of reasons why people typically don’t report these types of incidents, and then attempt to dispel those myths.

While this awareness campaign is specific to London, what it’s working to combat happens all over the world. So, after watching the film, we wanted to know…

Has This Ever Happened To You? If Yes, Did You Report It?

Please share your comments below. To get the conversation started, here’s a personal account of what happened to one of our own…

It was 1994, I was 22-years-old and I had just started my very first, post-college, professional job. I was psyched to have a job and even psyched to commute. Crowded trains with pushy people never bothered me because it was all part of the excitement of being a “working woman” in NYC. On one particular commute home, my subway, the one I took every day, was jam packed with people… the kind of body-on-top-of-body packed that loosely resembles a giant game of Twister where you can’t tell whose hands are whose.

I suddenly felt something on my left hip; it could have been someone’s bag pushing in to me for all I knew. But then I felt the same thing on my right hip, and the next thing I knew I had someone grinding himself into me from behind. Eerily enough, it was just like the scene they depict in this video. It took a second for my brain to compute what was actually happening to me. I didn’t know what to do… I simply froze. What was probably only a few seconds, felt like an eternity. I managed to get out of the train at the next stop, and was left shaking and sick to my stomach.

To this day, over two decades later, I still regret having never done or said anything. But it is a moment I will never forget and an offense I will NEVER let anyone commit against me again.

  • bali1228

    Why would you not just say back the eff off pervert? Maybe I’m crude, but I’ve never been one to sit quietly. A quick f*ck off always seems to do the trick.

    • Ariane Mitchell

      ….for you maybe, but he will then just go on to another woman. Also – men are the problem here – they need to alter their behaviour.

      • bali1228

        Yeah I get that, but I don’t know how someone could contain themselves and not just explode on his ignorant a**?

  • GrinLikeADog

    I would say, Take a fist to his groin to stop it. Then report it.

  • bama

    A purse that weighs a good 3 pounds would put a stop to this quickly.

  • N. Hope Parry

    Sexual harassment is illegal, no matter where it happens. Don’t be a victim who protects the perpetrators by keeping silent. Learn your rights and be empowered: