Everyday Metro Rides


Anonymous


This the story of the time I got sexually harassed/assaulted in the metro. I remember it so vividly. I remember it was around 7 p.m. and I was coming home from an after-school activity. I was extremely tired and hungry and just wanted to get home and go to bed. While I left my school and was walking to the metro, I noticed a man following closely behind me. I didn’t take it too seriously and just kept going. I remember getting on the escalator to go down inside the metro and feeling the man’s presence really close to me, so I started walking down the escalator to try and avoid being uncomfortable. Once I got through and was waiting for the metro, the man arrived as well and was standing next to me. I began to feel really uncomfortable because he was staring at me for long periods of time and gave off a weird vibe. Because of this, I started walking away but he simply followed me slowly. Once the metro arrived it was very full and did not have much room, therefore the man and I were forced to stand close together. I was extremely uncomfortable but knew there was nothing I could do, and I was so tired I tried not to dwell on it. As the metro ride went on, more people piled in and I ended up being pressed into the man. During this time, I was thinking maybe I should turn around so that my face would be to him instead of my backside being pressed against him, but I was too scared to get face-to-face with him. I remember feeling his hand on my butt and my face turning hot and red. I kept shifting to try and move his hand but he wouldn’t let up. After a while, his hand moved but I felt something else pressed on me. I kept trying to convince myself that maybe it was a book or a wallet pressed against me, but deep in my mind I knew I was feeling his erection. At this point I had tears brimming my eyes, and my anxiety peaked. I just froze. I didn’t want to believe what was happening, and I was in shock. I didn’t think something so disgusting could happen to me. After a bit of time passed, my mind realized what was happening and I quickly ran out of the metro and had a panic attack. Since this event I have been traumatized. I remember thinking, was it what I was wearing? At this time, I went to an all-girls catholic high school and had to wear a uniform. I started blaming myself, thinking I should put my skirt lower, it’s too short; or it’s my fault for pressing against him, or I should have exited the metro sooner. I started thinking toxic things that should never have been in my head, and I blamed myself. Only recently have I accepted that it wasn’t my fault, but the disgusting, vile, inhumane man’s. This happened in Montreal, in our community and happens almost every day.

It upsets me so much that thousands of boys, girls, women, and men experience sexual assault all the time. We must act collectively as a community stop this behaviour.

Thank you.