I have experienced a lot of harassment and accosting on public transport. One situation was when I was on the bus at night going home and a group of people got on and started making very inappropriate comments. I tried to ignore them, but when one of them decided to touch me, it crossed a line. It left me feeling very unsafe.
I have also witnessed many incidents of harassment. One time I intervened to support the victim. In that situation there was a very young girl, who was sitting alone and was being targeted with, you could say, sexual harassment. I just went to sit next to her. I didn’t say anything but I wanted there to be someone else present in that situation. And the harassment stopped. It was cool to notice that just being present is something that can make a difference! Of course it felt scary, because you’re putting yourself at risk of being a target of harassment. But at the same time it felt right, because someone has to do it, and I wish that people would just have the courage to help.
The fact that sexual harassment has become a thing that you can anticipate and be afraid of speaks of the magnitude of the problem. I or anyone else shouldn’t have to be afraid when we step onto a bus or a tram that we will be harassed or our personal boundaries will be violated.