Youth.sg reported in its website on 10 May that an intern working for them had a nasty experience while travelling in our public transport. Someone inappropriately touched the woman. “The opportunist did not let go until the train began moving again more than 10 seconds later. Our 22-year-old victim was in such shock during the incident that she froze,” the writer of the article, Justin Hui, said.
This is the second time in a year a female colleague has been touched inappropriately while on public transport, Justin added. Last December, another one of his colleagues had her modesty outraged when an old man standing close behind her on the MRT rubbed his crotch against her.
“When she recounted the incident to us that day, the anger in our office was palpable but at the same time, so was the resignation,” he added.
Justin’s colleagues also started sharing with him their experiences of of being flashed at, or molested on public transport, and shocked at the frequency of such cases he took to Facebook and asked his female friends if molest is as rampant as it seemed.
The result he said, was atrocious.
“Over 20 women responded and more than 10 elaborated. From traumatic childhood experiences with flashers and perverts to recent stories on buses and planes, I was both shocked and infuriated at how most of these acts were blatantly committed in broad daylight<…>Along with the sudden shock of the violation, victims have to simultaneously deal with uncertainty, shame, and the fear of making a scene in front of hundreds on the train who might be inconvenienced by a delay. Put these together and it is no wonder why people freeze up.”
Justin said that women may be far too shaken to respond appropriately when their modesty is outraged, and so it is the society’s responsibility to respond collectively and bring the culprits to justice.
Justin said that there are three things he has resolved to do:
- Be aware of my surroundings
I’m going to look up from my phone and look around regularly. If any guy is standing unusually close to a girl, I’m going to keep an eye on him.
- Intervene immediately
As a witness, I’m in a better situation to speak up than the victim who may be in shock.
- Stand with anyone who speaks up
If anyone speaks out, be it the girl involved or another passenger, I will ensure they will not stand alone. And I’m not going to complain about anyone (except the culprit) if my train gets delayed.I’m tired of letting these perverts get away and letting my female friends live in fear. Let’s take a leaf from this Taiwanese bus driver’s book when he stood up for a victim who was suffering in silence.