Have you seen this sort of behavior before? While it does occur when there is no one around, it is much more common when there are witnesses. One woman shares her experience and hopes that this will never happen to you. But if it ever does…she has some really good advice.
One day I was on the MAX (basically a giant street car that goes all over the metro area) on my way to meet up with a few friends. I didn’t look at anyone, I didn’t speak to anyone, I just stood to the side on my phone making sure I wasn’t going to be late to my meeting.
Out of no where, this guy comes up to me and starts to chat me up. Me, being who I am, am absolutely terrified to tell this guy to f*** off. He was at least half a foot taller than me, and was way too bulky for me to fight back. So I suck it up at humor him, say hello. Before introducing himself or asking me for my name, he asks me out on a date. Not wanting to piss him off I try to make light of the situation and I laugh, telling him that my boyfriend wouldn’t like the idea, but thank you for the offer. He just shrugs and says, “He doesn’t need to know.”
At this point I’m scared out of my mind. There’s this guy who, after seeing me run two blocks to catch the train, comes up to me and has made it perfectly clear that he wasn’t going to leave without getting something out of me.
I deny him a second time, saying, “I don’t even know you’re name. We’re strangers, I don’t know you.” He finally introduces himself and asks me for my phone number. I tell him I don’t give my number out to people I’ve just met and he says, “Fine, but at least take mine so we can meet up later.” So he watches me plug his number into my phone (which I deleted as soon as I knew I was safe and away from him) as we’re pulling up to my stop. I tell him I need to leave and switch trains and he tells me, “Oh, I’ll wait with you. I don’t have any plans, so I’m in no rush.” It’s important to note what at this point he had previously told me that he was late to a job interview, but he has all the time in the world because he still hasn’t gotten what he wanted from me; a yes.
I get off of the train and he follows me, and waits at the platform with me for over ten minutes until my train arrives, asking me all sorts of personal questions about where I live and where I was going that day. As soon as the train pulls up he grabs for me and says, “Do I at least get a hug before you go?”
I was terrified. I was embarrassed. This dude, who before even asking me for my name asks me out on a date and then continues to harass me after I tell him I have a boyfriend, asks me for a hug only fifteen minutes after meeting. People around us were staring at me, as if I was being rude for denying him, and every inch of me was mortified. I wanted to run, but I felt like if I had done that he would have chased after me and things would have gotten worse. So I did, and he squeezed me so tight I felt like I was going to burst. It took me a good ten seconds to get him to let go and I ran to the train car just as the doors were closing. He was trying to get me to miss my train so I would have to wait with him even longer. I would have been stuck there for over a half an hour until the next train came by, and the platform (aside from the few buses coming by) was now COMPLETELY EMPTY. He knew EXACTLY what he was doing and he knew EXACTLY how to get me alone with him.
People, if you are in a situation like this do not feel obligated to give in. If someone is making you uncomfortable and asks to touch you in any way, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SAY YES. Make excuses, be blunt, just straight up say ‘no’. If possible, go to someone else near by who you think can help you and ask them to help you. It’s important for guys to learn that they can’t get what they want just by asking over and over again.
I got lucky. But not everyone does. Please, everyone, Be Safe.
The predators that do this kind of thing know that most women “don’t want to be rude.” They realize that creating pressure in a social setting will usually get them what they want: a defenseless woman alone. The best way to avoid this is to be loud. Aggressively turn them down, cause a scene, or cry. Once people start to notice you, they will notice him, and that is exactly what he doesn’t want. No one will remember the girl who hugged an awkward guy on the subway.
EVERYONE will remember the awkward guy who made a woman cry on the subway, and could probably give a good description to a sketch artist.
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