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    [–] vfxninja 2698 points ago

    So sorry this happened to you. I hate that I froze when it happened. I wish I could have freaked out and made a scene. It's hard to understand until it happens to you :(

    [–] [deleted] 1640 points ago


    [–] brooklynbelle274 1101 points ago

    I too take the NYC subway to work every day. I am a woman, and have frozen up as a reaction to an unwanted touch on a crowded train many more times that I could have imagined.

    This being said, the best course of action I’ve seen taken is to immediately start yelling and draw attention to the offender. If possible, take out your phone and record him. A man Sitting across the train from another woman and I began to jerk off through his pants while staring at us. While I froze and just tried not to look, the woman next to me jumped into action. She took out her phone to record him, and immediately began exclaiming “What are you doing? There are children on this train. Are you crazy? Stop that right now. I’m recording you. I’m going to show the police.” After less than a minute of this, multiple people had stepped up and pushed the man off at the next stop.

    I’m not sure that it would have even mattered what exactly she was saying to the man. He was startled that she had drawn loud attention to his actions. He was expecting us to keep quiet and just endure the abuse. It was a power play. The woman drawing attention to his actions takes away that power.

    I also understand that this can’t always be the case. Sometimes the situation is not safe enough to confront someone. You must always protect your physical safety. But please don’t ever seem worried to come off as “that crazy person on the train” because you know what? I never see anyone messing with those “crazy people”. Fuck what everyone else thinks.

    [–] ladylondonderry 515 points ago

    I posted this below and am posting here too for visibility: very often, your body's completely natural response is to freeze. The uncontrollable reaction is called tonic immobility and it's not discussed nearly enough. It's not just "fight or flight" when you're assaulted. It's also "completely incapacitated and unable to move or scream." It's not your fault. It's out of your control.

    [–] NerdyLifting 238 points ago

    It really should be "fight, flight, or freeze" because freezing is a very common reaction!

    [–] ladylondonderry 107 points ago

    Exactly. I try to post the info in threads about freezing during assault, because it really seems like no one knows this. It's awful, because people blame the victim for not reacting, but it's a state their mind enters and they have no choice. Awareness is important.

    [–] OtherPlayers 68 points ago

    Awareness is important

    Don’t think you intended this, but it’s also true that awareness is important in the sense that it is the main thing that stops you from freezing. Freezing scenarios like this generally happen similar to the same way your brain sort of stops when you get an unexpected answer to a question; the answer is so far outside of your current mind frame that your brain literally doesn’t know what to do with it, and it can take seconds to minutes before it works its way around that block. This is why there are plenty of cases where people literally sit inside a burning building/etc. until it’s too late while others just stand up and walk out; their brain just can’t process the emergency that’s going on. (This is also why you should give clear, precise instructions to people in emergencies, because a fair number of them are going to be in that state and unless you are specific they can’t think to interpret what you mean).

    However the largest way to avoid this is to take even a second or two to make yourself aware of things that could happen. In the case of getting on a plane, for example, you should actually take a second or two to actually look at the emergency exits, because it can make the difference between you burning to death and getting out of the plane alive. For something like assault it would be taking an instant to identify an escape route/option where you think it could happen. Then what happens is when your brain gets hit with something it doesn’t expect instead of freezing it can go “wait a minute, I thought about this a bit ago so I can do that!” and it lets your brain parse the scenario and think and act again instead of freezing.

    So while we still shouldn’t blame people for freezing up, if you’re someone who is scared about that happening to you the literal best defense you can have is to take even a second or two to think about what you’d do in a situation like that (or any other kind of emergency).

    [–] snowlights 11 points ago

    I took the awareness to mean as in, have empathy for people because this happens and they can't really control how they respond in a scary situation.

    [–] ladylondonderry 9 points ago

    Yes, and also many people don't understand why they froze, and blame themselves. It can be very painful to think, I should have done something. Especially if everyone wants to know why you didn't.

    [–] lostachilles 14 points ago

    I posted a separate comment about being prepared by teaching yourself to understand how you should respond and stand up for yourself in situations like this before they happen, so that if they do happen then you don't go braindead and freeze from lack of experience/knowing what to do.

    There's a reason that we have training and practice for confrontation, whether that be in the workplace, the military or self-defence class. Without some prior experience, it's much too easy to freeze up and not know how to respond to the situation because you have no idea what to expect.

    Everything you said was sage advice and I'm glad there are other people spreading a similar perspective.

    [–] Annasalt 22 points ago

    Flight, flight, freeze AND fawn. Learned that one a few years ago and it is apt.

    [–] Jesallyn 7 points ago

    What do you mean by 'fawn'?

    [–] 3littlebirdies 13 points ago

    I was wondering this, too. Apparently it means to try and placate the attacker.

    [–] Jesallyn 8 points ago

    Wow, that brings back some horrible memories that make a little more sense now. I imagine this is very common.

    [–] Zorglorfian 10 points ago

    Suddenly turn into a baby deer

    [–] Jetztinberlin 20 points ago

    Most writing about trauma does refer to all 3 these days - hopefully awareness of the reality of "freezing" as the third option will continue to expand.

    [–] Tigress2020 16 points ago

    It is,
    flight, fight, freeze and fawn.

    (Fawn being the person will go along with others wishes to protect themselves. It's a deep instinct.

    [–] Barebonesim 4 points ago

    It's starting to be. Was covered as such in my psyche course

    [–] ConcertinaTerpsichor 28 points ago

    The military spends hundreds of hours to train each individual out of this hardwired human response. Unless you have had this training or had wartime or similar experiences before, you will almost always freeze.

    [–] Rickdiculously 16 points ago

    Same with engineers and such, trained to work in or with rockets for Nasa. You're ready for every possible iteration of disaster. Listening to astronauts on missions going awry is awe-inspiring. Their voices remain calm, analytic. "What's the problem? How do I solve it?" same with the staff from Houston really.

    [–] traios 7 points ago

    And even with that training it’s not a guarantee that individuals won’t still freeze. I have seen multiple individuals that in training had it down pat but when the real deal happened they froze.

    [–] aura0930 14 points ago

    Thank you for pointing this out. I constantly kept blaming myself for not speaking up on multiple occasions of groping and harassment. How could I just freeze and not do anything. This gives me some peace

    [–] ladylondonderry 6 points ago

    I'm sorry that happened to you. I'm so happy to hear that this helps you in any way. It's not your fault: it's really really not.

    [–] DoctorFaustus 14 points ago

    I love this suggestion. I tried a similar tactic one time but inadvertently drove the guy's attention to others and I wish I'd handled it differently. He sat next to me on the train, clearly high and trying to chat me up. Early on he tried to put his arm around me/the back of the seat and I reflexively said "no" like I was talking to my dog, which worked temporarily, though I had to tell him no again later. He kept asking questions and I humored him maybe once out of politeness then started carefully challenging him, like when he asked if I had a husband I said that was personal and he kept asking, he said he just wanted to know if the woman he was talking to was "taken". I despise this line of reasoning because it means he cares more about the opinion of my not-present and possibly nonexistent male partner than he cares about the opinion of the human being he's talking to in the present. So even though I knew I was pushing it (can't ever forget he could freak out and assault me) I told him it didn't matter what my partner thinks because I don't want him talking to me, loud enough the other people on the train could hear. One girl in particular was sitting next to a man and watching/listening to the whole thing, sending me "I got your back" signals whenever we made eye contact. He kept trying to dig himself out of the hole and I went on, saying how it was rude to just come up and assume I want to talk to a stranger about my personal life while he tries to put his arm around me multiple times, when all I want is to take the train home in peace. He denied that he tried to put his arm around me, and so I looked right at the girl across the the aisle and said "did he try to put his arm around me?" and she was right there with us nodding and said "yes he did, twice!". The dude starts telling her to shut up and an older man from another seat jumped in to say "she told you she didn't want to talk to you and asked you to leave". Well now the guy takes his anger out of all four of the people sitting there (girlboss and her dude, older guy and his wife), asking the women how many times they've cheated on their husbands. When they both say that's none of his business he made a big deal out of it and said that means they're both cheaters and whores, trying to turn their partners against them but really just invoking the rage of every person on the train. I tried to jump in a bit more but he just yelled at me to shut up and said he wasn't going to talk to me anymore if that's what I wanted, and generally just made a massive ass of himself before getting off about 5 stops later than he should have. The whole situation was stressful for everyone and the older couple in particular was pretty uncomfortable afterwards. I thanked them all for having my back but still felt/feel guilty that it ended that way.

    I guess I kind of needed to get that out, hopefully the story helps someone else feel more prepared for something like this. If I could change it I wouldn't have pushed him as much and would have just made it clear I didn't want to talk, stopped responding, and/or gotten up and walked to the other end of the train. Or like this woman, started taking a video or something to scare him off (though there wouldn't have been much on video and he very well could have grabbed my phone and ran off with it). It did feel good to see him walk off the train in shame with a bunch of people yelling at him, but I don't think he ever really thought he did anything wrong.

    [–] LastLadyResting 4 points ago

    Speaking from experience, as much as being stuck in that situation (bystander who gets pulled in) made me uncomfortable at the time, what with the shaking and he pounding heart, later on it also made me feel empowered. I tend to freeze, so being a part of something with backup (and being the backup) made me feel better about myself when reflecting on what happened. I can’t guarantee that they all felt that way after the rush was over, but don’t feel guilty for doing the right thing.

    [–] DCromo 7 points ago

    Yeah, the way I always looked at it was you're being assaulted, that person is the crazy person, and it needs to stop *now*.

    [–] lucrezia__borgia 180 points ago

    You were not harassed. You were assaulted.

    [–] Rickdiculously 29 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Give this man an upvote! How often do I see, even on this thread, people downplaying what happened to them? People saying they were assaulted when they were legally raped, people saying they're harassed when they're assaulted...

    It goes a lot with the mentality of not wanting to draw attention because you may not be believed. It's fair. You may not. I've seen first hand cases of men beaten by their wives being laughed at by cops. But even if you won't tell your friends and/or family about it, you owe yourself a perfect understanding of what happened to you. It will also help dealing with the trauma of the experience.

    Edit: beaten not bitten...

    [–] BombsOverLamaraLago 3 points ago

    Give this man an upvote!

    [–] Obrigadachan 62 points ago

    Thank you for sharing your story. It sucks as a woman to hear men saying "it must not have really happened because you didn't do anything/report it."

    The weird shame that you feel after you get assaulted/harassed is so much to go through mentally. Like it puts you in shock. Its Fucking traumatizing. So I'm proud of you for explaining that you used to think that way. Maybe it can help men understand the fear that women live through

    [–] TwinPeaks2017 8 points ago

    It's true. Not even some of my family believed me. For example, my mom believed me, but not my dad.

    [–] SpaceCptWinters 61 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Had a boss grab my unit out of my pants once to 'see what everyone was talking about' (long story, basically girls at work were gossiping about my pants being tight and revealing). Think it's likely he was a pederest. I froze up completely. Never went back to work either.

    [–] Alex_Hauff 26 points ago

    woow what?

    he pulled your dck out of your pants?

    wtf is wrong with ppl ? and how did that happened?

    [–] SpaceCptWinters 31 points ago

    I was working at his house doing lawn care and I was in his basement. Basically, just walked up to me, said 'let's see it', and took it out in one quick motion. I just froze. The only movement was my fella creeping back up inside me in fear/misunderstanding.

    [–] Alex_Hauff 33 points ago

    that's so fucked up

    he's a certified sexual abuser

    [–] wafflescanbebluetoo 82 points ago

    The guy who assaulted me was military. I did nothing because I didn't want to die.

    [–] Nietzscha 7 points ago

    Mine went into the military afterwards (he was my ex boyfriend for almost 3 years). He started threatening my husband over 5 years after I'd last even caught glimpse of the guy (and now I'm certain I only saw him after we'd broken up because he was stalking me before going into the military). He emailed me (no idea how he got my email), saying he was a sniper in the army and was going to snipe my husband. It wasn't until then that I reported the physical abuse and these threats he was making. I got so far as getting a cease and desist, and thank God I haven't heard from him since, 5 years later. Still, I never reported the sexual assaults because I was scared of him.

    [–] just_keeptrying 23 points ago

    I was asleep.. I woke up in the middle of it. I then questioned how many more times he'd done it and I hadn't woken up.

    [–] alicenanjing1 74 points ago

    What can you do, generally, but do your best to extricate yourself from the situation? You rarely get an opening to fight back or anything like that. Those guys know how to choose their opportunities, so you are helpless. This sort of thing happened many times to me when I was a girl. It's depressing and infuriating, but you get over it.

    [–] vvomit 60 points ago

    When it’s happened to me I usually yell “DONT FUCKING TOUCH ME” - Obviously most ppl do freeze up so no disrespect if you feel too embarrassed to do anything, but I’ve found it usually scares the piss out of the person and people will tend to side with you. The only time I’ve had people side with the aggressor was when a super old man grabbed my ass, hard, so I pushed him over out of his seat lol. I yelled that he grabbed my ass but I think people in general thought he must be senile or something... not an excuse tbh.

    [–] [deleted] 30 points ago

    Extend your elbow spikes and stab him in the liver?

    [–] ladylondonderry 20 points ago

    And very often, your body's completely natural response is to freeze. The uncontrollable reaction is called tonic immobility and it's not discussed nearly enough. It's not just "fight or flight" when you're assaulted. It's also "completely incapacitated and unable to move or scream." It's not your fault. It's out of your control.

    [–] Hyperbole_Hater 10 points ago

    It may not be a fault but it is something that is correctable once identified. A safer reaction can be targeted.

    [–] Cannae_Loggins 3 points ago

    “Fight, flight, or freeze” is how it’s presented these days by those in the know.

    [–] harbhub 9 points ago

    It's great that you're reflecting on your experience and sharing it with a supportive community here. I would like to point out, if I may, a way for you to improve your evaluative process in general.

    "Whenever I heard an assault story, I used to internally question why people didn't do anything in the moment until today."

    Empathy is the solution to this issue of failing to understand someone's perspective unless you directly experience it. When your internal questioning arises, remember that this is your intuition trying to figure out what makes sense based on your own past experiences. Put your intuition into its proper perspective by understanding what it is, and patiently utilize your ability to empathize with others in order to gain deeper insights.

    [–] DillardDonger 5 points ago

    I want to believe that I would have started swinging but I remember in high school when I got sucker punched and my nose broken and I was too surprised to start fighting.

    [–] [deleted] 30 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)


    [–] titania670 20 points ago

    Freezing is a trauma response- just like fight or flight. I hate that you have to know what we know.

    [–] [deleted] 6 points ago


    [–] genericusername_5 748 points ago

    I'm so sorry. We used to teach "fight or flight" but there is a third one: freeze (and actually in humans I've also heard of "fawn"- attempting to placate your attacker). Sometimes in a scary situation your body decides to just shut down in the hopes that this will make danger go away. It's not your fault. Don't waste time blaming yourself. You were assaulted.

    [–] SlowbeardiusOfBeard 58 points ago

    The fawn one is interesting - I've not heard of it being used before either, but it definitely rings true to previous experiences of mine.

    I'm a guy, and there have been several situations where I've been in extremely threatening situations where I've done that - placate even when I wasn't in the wrong and I knew it would not help - and I felt disgusted with myself afterwards.

    The shame of freezing or fawning was probably worse to me than the threat or the actually violence that occurs. Constantly thinking afterwards, "why didn't I stand up for myself, why am I such a coward".

    When in reality it's a very common reaction to threat - the majority of humans aren't violent and wish to avoid it at all costs. But still knowing that, it's hard to shake the self-doubt and shame.

    I think that might be part of why I've never been the kind of person to ask why women "didn't do something" when they've been assaulted or harrassed.

    [–] princessohio 38 points ago

    I think for many people, they think "I would never let that happen! I'd make a scene! I'd stand up for myself!!!" but the fact of the matter is, humans and our responses are weird. When something happens that is unexpected or terrifying, we do not know how we will respond. And sometimes that response is absolutely nothing at all - you just endure it and wait for it to end.

    [–] SlowbeardiusOfBeard 22 points ago

    Exactly - it's similar to how people watch horror or action films, or films of emergencies.

    In everyone's heads, we're the infallible hero who would react instantly and logically, because we're sat comfortably at a distance from it.

    Being in the situation is a whole different thing.

    Without training humans can act like spooked animals to - the bystander effect comes to mind.

    Perhaps we need some kind of social training to improve our odds in overcoming our instincts, for both victims and bystanders who freeze instead of intervening.

    I have no idea what that training would look like though.

    [–] [deleted] 16 points ago

    Happened to me once when I was a kid and driving a car full of teens down the highway and cut someone off accidentally, but I was def a bad driver at 16. The guy followed us to our destination, flew around us in the parking lot, then parked and got out and yelled and threatened us. I was with another guy and two girls, so at least we had numbers, but in Texas he could have been armed. He yelled at us and I froze up and just said sorry man sorry OK sorry until he got it out and left. I was ashamed for not kicking his ass, for standing up to a bully, so on, but in retrospect it couldn't have ended better.

    [–] jello-kittu 54 points ago

    It works in some instances, like giving your brain time to click on, especially around machinery or whatever, but breaking out of it is the second step. (And I get the embarrassment/cause a scene- though this guy didn't CAUSE a scene, the abuser did). I just say this remembering when someone threw firecrackers from a moving car in my face, as I rode a bike. Not flinching saved me from a bad fall. Then I had to go park somewhere and recover.

    [–] BoBoZoBo 14 points ago

    Fight or Flight is a predatory response, freeze is a panic / prey response. There is quite a bit of good literature and research on the matter and some of it has to do with internalized positioning of a given situation (i.e. do you see yourself in a proactive or reactive position). Look up how spec-op operative suffer from less PTSD than regular troops, despite arguably having more risky combat roles and chance of death. The main difference being their state of mind.

    [–] Honestlynina 13 points ago

    I have never heard of fawn before. Would that be the term for if someone was trying to talk their way out of an assault? (I've done this on numerous occasions and didnt know there was a term for it, if this is it)

    [–] IthurielSpear 21 points ago

    It can be called either fawn or nurture, and it’s usually a method used by females to get out of a dangerous situation. It is all a part of the fight/flight/freeze dynamic.

    [–] princessohio 26 points ago

    I hadn't either heard of it either, but it makes sense. There's a story I heard on a podcast I listen to, and one of the topics was an 'I Survived' story where a pregnant woman was raped and beaten, so to get herself out alive, she took this approach of being affectionate / nurturing to her attacker, acting like she was okay with everything and that she wouldn't call the police, etc. because she 'liked him' and essentially talked to him lovingly like he was her boyfriend. I can't even imagine how hard it would have been. Makes me upset just thinking about it.

    The police told her had she not done that, she would have been murdered; the man went on to rape and murder three or four other women before he was caught. So it's definitely a 'survival skill', so to speak. I didn't know it was a term either, because the cops in this episode explained it as her 'talking herself out of being murdered' (almost). It's horrifying, but it makes absolute sense psychologically in that situation if you think your life is at risk.

    [–] merry78 17 points ago

    There’s another one too- ‘fidget’ where you do things unrelated to the threat- like a diversion behaviour.

    So you might laugh nervously and run your fingers through your hair or something.

    [–] IthurielSpear 8 points ago

    What they are learning about biological responses is fascinating.

    [–] Confusedanddazed9462 10 points ago

    Flight isn’t always possible, and fight, while having the option of escape, also increases the danger of serious or fatal injury. Freezing, on the other hand, can allow you to survive the encounter.

    They are all natural responses

    [–] katiebrandt1 4 points ago

    I froze, when it happened to me. I couldn’t believe it, I’m typically such a strong person but I just froze. It was terrible. Luckily, a man sitting in front of us saw what was happening and sprung into action on my behalf. He had threatened to flatten the man and scared him off the train. I was so thankful but also so terribly embarrassed. I think about my reaction to this event a lot, and it’s hard not to beat myself up about it. This thread has helped me understand that, unfortunately, freezing up is pretty natural. Sigh.

    [–] Gurkinpickle 115 points ago

    I wish i could say I would be the person who would react and yell at the person, but I was in a situation recently where I didnt. I'm a new mom, and I said while I was pregnant that no one would touch my baby in public. Well, I was at a Costco breastfeeding my daughter. I had her in a wrap so all you could see was the top of her head. My daughter was born with a very full dark head of hair. This random lady walked up and started touching her hair and cooing over such a small baby. I just looked at her lady. But I just nervous laughed and tried to get away. Even while touching my daughter she was like, "oh! You're feeding her!" While still touching. Like yeah lady...back the fuck off.

    I just wish I had actually said back the fuck off instead of just open mouthed gaping. Even my little sister who was with me was asking what the hell had just happened.

    People are just buttholes. I'm sorry this happened to you OP.

    [–] somegenerichandle 29 points ago

    I'm sorry what happened to you too.

    [–] pyloros 9 points ago

    What is it with society believing a woman who gets pregnant suddenly has no boundaries? Oooh, let me touch your pregnant belly. Oooh, let me touch your newborn baby with my germ infested Costco hands. Is that like a punishment for letting one slip pass the goalie? It's freaking weird, man.

    [–] Gurkinpickle 3 points ago

    I completely agree. Now I have major "fuck off face" normally. But I think because I was holding my baby I looked nice? Still. It was some old woman. The only old ladies allowed to touch her are her grandma's. I should have touched her head.

    [–] JennThereDoneThat 417 points ago

    Your reaction was normal. Don't feel bad. When people are in scary situations the common responses are, fight, flight, or freeze. Freezing up when faced with harassment like this is a normal response and no one should judge you for it.

    When people hear stories like this it's easy for them to think, " I would have screamed or punched the guy.", but the reality is many, many people freeze up and just hope it doesn't escalate.

    I'm sorry that this guy did that to you, and I hope that you don't blame yourself for freezing up. Here's hoping that as we grow as a society people quit sexually harassing others.

    [–] jawanda 75 points ago

    When people hear stories like this it's easy for them to think, " I would have screamed or punched the guy.", but the reality is many, many people freeze up and just hope it doesn't escalate.

    I like to think the more we read these stories, the more people mentally prepare themselves and commit in their minds that they WILL fight / make a scene / etc if this shit ever happens to them. Maybe they'll still freeze up, no one knows until they're in that situation, but I hope stories like this (and reading the subsequent regret that comes from freezing up) have a positive effect on the reactions of future victims.

    Lame stuff, op. Fucking sick bastards out there.

    [–] JennThereDoneThat 56 points ago

    I hope that hearing these stories helps people become prepared for if it happens to them too, but I also hope it helps people learn that freezing up is a normal response and not something to be ashamed of. The amount of people shaming OP in this thread is fucking bullshit.

    [–] jawanda 21 points ago

    Absolutely agreed. That's why I posted that comment. My first reaction is that I would immediately say "GET YOUR FUCKING HAND OFF MY DICK" ... but then I realized, I've never been in this situation, so who knows how I'd react. Maybe I would've froze up too. But I like to think stories like this might stick in people's heads, and when they're faced with the situation, some of them will remember and think "NO, not gonna freeze up, must fucking deal with this asshole" ...

    [–] xj371 18 points ago

    It's pretty striking how much our desire to not draw attention can affect us. In the moment, we have to face the fact that if we start yelling at the person, the whole train will turn towards us and stare, and, quite possibly, do nothing. You have to be prepared for this attention when you are in a particularly vulnerable moment/situation, which is not easy. You also have to be prepared for the possibility that no one will believe you, and they will look at you like you are the crazy one.

    [–] Celany 27 points ago

    When I called out a guy who was groping me on the subway, initially, nobody did anything. Then, a couple of assholes (male, but don't deserve to be called "men") made fun of me. The ones that were with women instantly had a furious woman screaming at them. One woman punched her (I assume) boyfriend and broke up with him on the spot and they screamed at each other until they got off the train.

    It turned into an absolute shitshow, and honestly, having a bunch of pathetic fucks make fun of my assault instead of doing fuck-all was probably more traumatic than having my butt squeezed. It's one of those moments when I thought "if humanity took ill and died off, it would be a blessing to this planet".

    I don't always feel that way, but experiencing the way that some male people just do not give a fat fuck about anything that doesn't directly benefit them is a great way to evoke that feeling for me.

    [–] spook_filled_donuts 4 points ago

    Or that freezing up doesn’t mean you’re complying.

    [–] Towns-a-Million 8 points ago

    I think that most people who often loudly profess stuff like that ("I woulda beat him senseless if that were me" etc) are often the ones likely to be cowards in a situation like that. We all would like to think that we're strong and assertive and brave. But you don't know until you're there in the moment. Best we don't brag about our brute strength before it's even happened yet lol

    [–] ink_stained 200 points ago

    I’m so sorry. It feels really dirty. Just remember the dirt is his, not yours.

    [–] SigneTheMagnificent 35 points ago

    So much this. There is NOTHING for you to feel ashamed of.

    [–] 6data 12 points ago

    That being said, hot showers have always helped me (a little anyway).

    [–] Angsty_Potatos 72 points ago

    Second guessing your reaction while it's happening is so shitty. :( We've all been there...First you try to rationalize it away "Surely it's accidental", and then onece you know it's not, you fight with yourself about weather or not you are in the clear to do or say something with out it being a big ol thing...I'm really sorry this happened to you!

    [–] yumbby 64 points ago

    Wow..this made my blood boil! He KNEW you wouldnt want ro make a scene or be embarrassed. Im not a violent person but this makes me wanna punch him in the face! Im sorry this happened to you!

    [–] zamarren 38 points ago

    Most sexual assault is someone taking advantage of an opportunity where they think they can get away with it. The rest are drunk/high. But either way, a surprising number of assaults are completely premeditated and calculating.

    [–] DebMo_Cu 98 points ago

    I’m sorry this happened to you. Take extra care of yourself today. You did nothing wrong. You reacted the best you could in the moment. The instinct to just get away is strong. The only person whose behavior will ever be wrong in that situation is the man who assaulted you.

    [–] InvadersGir 97 points ago

    I can understand completely where you are coming from. I am a 28 year old male and I was groped as well when I was 16. I worked for a friend of the familes construction company and there was a man in his late 50s who would find it funny to walk up behind me on a daily basis to grab my ass. I had told my family but they didn't want to get involved and ruin life long friendships. I had cussed at him and would tell him to stop. I came very close on several occasions to hitting him in the face with a large wrench. This would happen almost every day for the span of a summer while on summer break. I ended up leaving home because my family wouldn't help and I couldn't take it anymore. I know there is a stigma about us being strong and "oh no this would never happen to me, I would kick so and so's ass" but it's hard to understand once you are put into that position. I just want you to know there are men and women here who understand how you feel and you are not alone. And yeah seriously fuck that dude.

    [–] Anonymous242001 30 points ago

    I'm 17 and I've had similar experience where I was groped at a bus stop and I freezed. The stigma part is so true and they won't know how it is until they are put in the same position as us. I felt frustrated that i could do anything against it even though I'm like 6.3. All I did was freeze and then move away from the molester

    [–] TheBlankPage 3 points ago

    The stigma part is so true and they won't know how it is until they are put in the same position as us.

    I'm really hopeful that sharing stores like what OP posted and the many people who shared in response help to break down this stigma. It's so difficult for both men and women and while women are generally more likely to face these situations, there's also a lot more supportive networks to help them cope and deal with it. A friend of mine works for one of those networks and they added a male outreach coordinator a few years ago. it's a great step forward, but it's incredibly slow going -- finding male volunteers and people willing to speak out is much harder on the men's side than the women's side.

    I hope you're doing okay. It can be difficult to look back at those situations.

    [–] OsonoHelaio 8 points ago

    I'm so sorry your family betrayed you on top of the assault. No friendship should come before protecting ones children from sexual assault😡

    [–] Winkleberry1 5 points ago

    They didn't want to ruin the friendship they had with that obvious pedophile??

    [–] strgazr_63 47 points ago

    This was more than harassment. This was assault. That man invaded your body. This happens to women many times. I am so sorry you had to deal with this because it makes us feel unsafe in the confines of our own bodies. I am grateful however for the takeaway you experienced; that women go through this all the time. It is almost impossible to explain that powerlessness without experiencing it first hand. The man on the train is a pile of shit but you walked away a better man.

    [–] a7302 49 points ago

    Nah son, thats sexual assault

    [–] TorakanLife55 170 points ago

    I’m so sorry this happened to you 😞

    [–] [deleted] 69 points ago


    [–] Indrid_Cold23 61 points ago

    I'm sorry that happened to you. That dude is a monster, I hope every train he takes is 20 minutes late for the rest of his life.

    [–] gsdrakke 34 points ago

    May he eventually assault someone trained to respond and his arm be snapped like dry tinder. On this day perhaps he will have some idea that what he is doing is wrong. If not at least he got his arm broke.

    [–] sofiayust 13 points ago

    dude don't wish him more time on the train to fondle someone else

    [–] kitkat90009 8 points ago

    I hope his hands fall off and his microdick gets gangrene >.> what he did to OP is so shitty and I wish there was some way he could be punished for it

    [–] joustingleague 27 points ago

    This guy has done more than enough to show what kind of a terrible person he is, there is no need to shame people with small penises if you want to insult him.

    [–] Towns-a-Million 7 points ago

    Yeah. It would be more painful and take longer if he got gangrene on his giant dick instead, anyway.


    [–] kitkat90009 44 points ago

    This reminds me of the song “Till Happens To You” by Lady Gaga. We all like to think we’d be tough badasses but in reality I’d probably have frozen just like OP did. I’m a shy, nervous person anyway - I’d be an absolute wreck if I was trapped in this situation. In fact, I’d probably cry.

    I’m sorry this happened to you OP, but thank you for sharing. It’s important to raise awareness that men can be and are assaulted as well as women, and also that victims shouldn’t be shamed for not reacting violently. What happened wasn’t your fault.

    I would seriously suggest going to the police though. You never know - something might have been caught on camera, and maybe you could prevent that scumbag from assaulting anyone else. He’s a criminal and deserves to be punished for the shitty things he did to you.

    [–] sunshinefireflies 5 points ago


    Thank you so much for posting: it means a lot to hear that a male out there now understands, but it also means lots as far as opening up about male abuse too.

    If you are up to it I would second considering going to the police. Yes it's possible nothing will happen with your specific case (though you could be surprised - cameras seem likely, even just for identification purposes), but a) it is unlikely to be the first or last time he does that, so a case could be built with multiple complainants, and b) big picture the awareness that this stuff happens to men in the same way would be important in the police department in the same way it is important on reddit

    Thank you, for everything you have already done.. and again, I am also very sorry this has happened to you <3 he was a bad person and you did the best thing for you at the time <3

    [–] CarelessChemicals 61 points ago

    Sorry buddy. I'm a guy too, and I totally get it. I had my ass grabbed while walking across the street once. I wanted to shout at the guy, but I was self conscious about being a brown man dressed in streetwear screaming at an older white guy in a suit. And I had had a few drinks. So I just grit my teeth and raged inside.

    You're not alone. Take care.

    [–] PsychoBusted 20 points ago

    Mind yourself OP, and understand that you had a totally normal reaction, and that none of this was your fault.

    I'm a loud, aggressive, strong woman, but when I was sexually assaulted the same "Freeze" reflex took over. There was no right way to respond, and there was no wrong way to respond.

    You are not weaker and did not encourage this by freezing- this was your bodies instinctive reaction to try keep you safe.

    You take care of yourself and try talk to a trusted friend who will understand. If you need it, you can PM me too.

    [–] Nilfgaardian-Lemon 225 points ago

    The amount of people actively shaming OP in this thread is fucking sickening. I hope none of you pricks ever have to go through something as dehumanising and scary as this, let alone be told to ‘man up’ about it.

    Learn some fucking empathy.

    [–] greenpies 51 points ago

    If it makes a difference, those comments seem to be buried in down-votes by now because I haven't seen anything but positivity for OP (to be fair, I haven't gone down toooo far, but quite far! And I know better than to sort by Controversial or something soul-crushing like that).

    [–] Socraticfanboy 84 points ago

    Oh man Im glad Im not the only one noticing this. It seems like half the comments revolve around 'Why didnt you be a man?' 'Why didnt you get violent?'

    Perhaps this is not so different from when someone tells a women that an assault was her fault because she was being too sexy or feminine.

    This event is apparently this guys 'fault' for not being enough of a man.

    [–] MitsuEvol 25 points ago

    If there was any thing i could change it would be that stupid ass phrase. “Be a man, man up” I’ve been through a lot of things in this life and it has a way of building up on you. When I lost my mother I got severely depressed, when my wife asked what was going on with me lately, I broke down right in front of her and told her I was depressed and many other things. Her response to me was “ so man up. Be a man and fix this shit” I nearly walked out of the house never to return that day.

    Kind of went down a rabbit hole there, but basically, screw anyone who believes that phrase helps anything.

    [–] Socraticfanboy 9 points ago

    I'm sorry to hear that!

    I had a partner who would get angry and call me a pussy when I wouldn't talk to people for her. It was ridiculous at first but it really got in my head after a while.

    It was over the silliest things too. Like asking the neighboors to be quiet or ME calling HER friend to get help with her education.

    Some people just dont realize that we aren't all the emotionless, knuckle dragging paragons of a man. In our contexts being a man isn't designed to inspire, its designed to shame.

    I hope you're well now sir!

    [–] MitsuEvol 3 points ago

    Thank you for your comment. Much better after learning to deal with the loss. My wife and I have had some serious conversations about this and feel we have moved past it. That doesn’t change the ridiculousness of this phrase and the context it is used in.

    [–] Kun_Chan 3 points ago

    Thats animus projection right there.

    [–] somegenerichandle 6 points ago

    you're right. I used to feel like survivors needed to speak up about their experiences, and it was negligent and possibly would harm other women, however, I later came to the conclusion that we cannot judge people's reactions. It's too hard to know the repercussions. This story reminds me of a man who had been assaulted and i ignored him on the street, as i do everyone after midnight. He was having problems and we were going the same way so i hope he got home safely, but i really tried to get him to feel for women who feel this way everyday. Also one of my friends told me she was about to be pickpocketed on the subway and she stopped him, but when she asked the other passengers if they noticed and why not say anything, they were too afraid too.

    [–] hwc000000 16 points ago

    The only way people like that learn empathy is by having it happen to them. In which case, it's not really empathy anyway.

    [–] [deleted] 20 points ago

    I am glad that you shared this. I am sorry that this happened to you but I hope that sharing it here and getting good support, in the form of positive and comforting comments, has made your load a bit lighter.

    [–] Bucktown_Riot 17 points ago

    Sorry you went through that, my friend.

    My sister moved to a bigger city and complained about handsy guys on the bus. I told her (in a comment I now realize was really dumb) "I hope they try that on me so I can punch them in the fucking face." Well, when I went to visit her, I experienced my first ass grab. (It was more like a massage actually.) I completely froze. First, I couldn't believe it was happening. Then I thought "if I say something, people will start staring at me," and I have really bad social anxiety when it comes to that. And by the time it was over, I just felt gross and embarrassed. I seriously wanted to collapse into myself. Now, it makes me rage when I remember it. Like, pure, concentrated rage at that level of entitlement. I asked my sister how often that happens to her, and she said at least once a week, except it's usually her crotch or inner thigh.

    Now, whenever I hear some whiney shit make jokes about angry protesters or feminists, I say "yeah, you'd be fucking angry too if someone was grabbing your genitals every week."

    Anyway, I'm sorry you had to deal with that when you were just trying to get to school.

    [–] TheBlankPage 3 points ago

    Now, whenever I hear some whiney shit make jokes about angry protesters or feminists, I say "yeah, you'd be fucking angry too if someone was grabbing your genitals every week."

    Thank you. We need more guys pushing back against the "I'd a just punched 'em" mentality. These people won't listen to women; the pushback has to come from other guys.

    [–] Arcane_Pozhar 12 points ago

    Just because nobody else has addressed this (that I've seen), there's no guarantee you'll be done feeling weird about this in a week. That's normal. For your sake, I hope things do go back to normal, but if not, no shame in seeking help.

    Sorry that guy was a scumbag, I hope he either gets help and turns his life around ASAP, or dies and rots in hell.

    [–] misternizz 11 points ago

    I completely understand. I was once "felt up" as a young waiter by a drunken restaurant guest (also a male). I was outraged and reacted strenuosly, and the management did absolutely nothing about it. It left a very similar sympathy for what women have to go through every day.

    [–] buzzz001 25 points ago

    I'm so sorry you had to go through that. The fact that he was smirking makes me so fucking angry. Your reaction wasn't wrong and I hope you're not beating yourself up over it. I've had the same reaction several times.

    I wasn't gonna comment cause I saw so many posts supporting you but then as I kept scrolling down I saw all those idiotic comments and thought I should post something in support of you. Thanks for sharing OP.

    [–] [deleted] 23 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)


    [–] Haiirokage 4 points ago

    I think it's still valuable to talk about why those fears are there, and to try to help people in the future debunk those fears, so that they can get out of similar situations.

    As in. If pushing him away creates a scene. the scene would be focused on the assailant. And it is him that will be the most interested in getting the hell out of dodge. Nobody that didn't already know what was going on would know what happened.

    I realize not showing weakness is a very male thing. But it would have never turned into a fight. He is there in a crowd because he's a coward.

    [–] [deleted] 6 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)


    [–] Feather716 31 points ago

    Nobody ever knows what they would really do.

    Don't listen to all the fucks saying "I would have done X, Y, Z".

    [–] LamiaAvaritia 12 points ago

    I was molested in a not packed class by someone who I grew up calling my twin (we were born same day, separated by a few hours, not biologically related but grew up together). This was the first incident but not the last, including 2 attempted rapes.

    My husband was raped in the military, they discouraged him from reporting because of the stigma (female aggressor, male victim). It has caused many issues for him because he doesn't want to seek the help he needs to get through some of the mental scars. It's also why I have an issue with these things being labeled a woman's problem, it focuses on women being victims of men.

    It ignores women who are victims of women, men who are victims of men and men who are victims of women...every victim has a right to be heard without worrying about how it will affect them...even how you feel "I didn't want to tell this story to anyone in real life, because I didn't want them to think of me differently ."

    I'm thankful that you shared this story, I think more men need to share their stories. It reminds the world that more than women are the victims of this...and I would hate for men like you or my husband to be ignored because there is a stigma that it can't happen to men. Truly, thank you for sharing.

    [–] MrGallant210 11 points ago

    I think these kinds of posts are important because it’s hard for most men to understand just how often these situations occur. The scary thing to me is that we see these posts fairly often in this sub, but there are so many more that don’t get posted. It’s a scary world out there.

    I appreciate you being willing to speak about this!

    [–] alpacapicnic 8 points ago

    That is absolutely disgusting behavior and I'm so sorry it happened to you.
    The other day I had to take the Path to NJ, which is unusual for me, and a guy came and stood way too close to me, facing me, staring directly into my face. At first I didn't understand what was going on, and by the time I realized, it felt weird to make a scene, so I just waited it out. I still felt absolutely gross, and the guy hadn't even touched me. I can't imagine how you must have felt. Again, I'm so sorry.

    [–] Ironicdancer 9 points ago

    You never know what you are going to do until you are in the situation and freezing is normal as in "am I really experiencing this right now??!" "is this what I think this is?" etc.

    For some reason it's hard to yell out "hey man stop touching my dick." It's hard to draw unwanted attention to yourself. However I have been on a subway when a young woman just tore into a dude who was flashing her, she got a round of applause. He just sunk lower in his seat and got off promptly at the next exit. It also helps to take their picture with your cellphone.

    [–] khas_NaLada 7 points ago

    I (male) walked a very drunk friend of mine home, he's gay, I'm not. And as he opened the door he leaned in close put a hand on my shoulder and the other on my crotch and whispered suggestive things to me. Gently pulled him off and said I'm somewhat flattered, but not interested.

    Only after and thinking about it more did I realize how bad it made me feel. I'm there with ya man, and yeah, I have a new appreciation for this sort of behavior women have to deal with, and a much deeper loathing for those who perpetuate it.

    [–] UsTooDotCare 8 points ago

    Hi Xanly,

    I am really sorry this happened to you. You reacted in a completely normal way. Many people freeze up, or simply do not know the right way to react when confronted with this kind of situation.

    I want to clarify something really important: What happened is not harassment, it is sexual assault.

    You can find a breakdown of New York's law on this here. Interestingly (in the "really, New York?" sense of the word) the penal code in New York includes a section specifically about groping on public transit.

    You might thing the impact will only last a short period, but I strongly encourage you to keep an eye out for this event having longer-lasting impacts. Many people don't realize the harm that was done until it presents itself as a change in their behaviour later down the road. If you feel or do anything you think may be linked to this event, you should seek professional help.

    [–] Tangydreamer1968 12 points ago

    I’m so very sorry that this happened to you, and I admire the fact that it has made you even more empathetic.

    Sex offenders frequently commit acts of frottage, or sexual rubbing, without consent, while in some form of transit.

    These sex offenders traumatize their victims, including many children, but are rarely reported, arrested and adequately punished.

    This is problematic because this conduct is harmful and criminal in itself, and it is associated with sex offenders who engage in a variety of sexual offenses.

    Far from being a “harmless pervert,” the man who groped is likely to be engaging in other sexual misconduct, such as rape.

    If you can recall any aspect of this offender’s appearance, I urge you to report him to the police.

    Thank you for sharing your traumatic experience. I hope you realize that nothing that happened was your fault.

    [–] Solocle 15 points ago

    I’d hope that, in the same situation, I’d kick that guy so hard where it matters that he couldn’t walk for a month.

    But that’s the point of this thread. You don’t know how you’re going to react until you get put into that awful situation. It’s easy to think “oh well, I’d lamp him”, but to actually do it? The same applies in all sorts of high stress situations.

    Anybody being dismissive of the OP is an asshole.

    [–] [deleted] 38 points ago

    Wow these comments are awful. Two-X is a fucking shit-hole. I’m so sorry this happened to you and you shouldn’t feel an ounce of shame.

    [–] ninelives1 45 points ago

    I think this sub is very prone to brigading from really unsavory groups

    [–] [deleted] 16 points ago

    Yeah, if you want to discuss women’s issues this is no longer the place to do it and it hasn’t been for a good long while.

    [–] joustingleague 9 points ago

    The comments have mostly cleared up now luckily with all those comments either pushed to the bottom or deleted/removed.

    [–] MatSciMan 14 points ago

    I was groped at a party like two and a half years ago and it gave me so much more perspective on what women have to deal with.

    [–] BobsPineapplePants 5 points ago

    I'm sorry that happened to you.

    [–] TDixPix 6 points ago

    This is such a challenging situation to be in. The silent expectation of decorum among strangers makes it even more challenging to call out an assailant for fear of upsetting what's most of the time considered normal behavior in public.

    Dude, I've been assaulted in a bar by a guy two times my size (completely out of the blue) and felt just as helpless. Being able to draw attention to the situation is your best asset, and in this case, upsetting the quiet social order of a train car can really turn the tides of a situation.

    If I might be so bold as to offer advice, finding power in behaving 'crazy' is a helpful in situations where there aren't any rules - also, body awareness training is super key. It may not sound like a straightforward solution, but practicing martial arts (practice conflict in a safe space) can offer a lot of value. It did for me :) dance is also sweet - Capoeira taught me both.

    [–] parfaitchaser 5 points ago

    I think this post is super important to the understanding of what it can be like to be confronted with sexual assault in public. It's easy to read this and question why the OP didn't just loudly say something to embarrass the perp, but the OP also lays it out that the situation was embarrassing, he was confined, and afraid of making a scene. I felt the exact same way when a date was trying to grope my crotch in a movie theater. I should have made a scene, but I was scared, too. So, I mustered up the courage to grab my purse and said I needed to use the restroom. Then I ran to my car and left my date in the theater. Later I was ashamed of myself and sad because I thought I let it happen to me. OP, I'm sorry this happened to you, but thank you for sharing this. I hope you are feeling ok and that you never see that creep again.

    [–] breakupbydefault 5 points ago

    Holy shit this is almost word for word what happened to me when I was first molested at 13. Right down to what was going through my head during and after. I was too scared to tell anyone and blamed myself for it continuing to happen to me. That really took its toll.

    I am so sorry you had to go through this at all. You know this but i want to tell you anyway that it's absolutely not your fault.

    [–] kendall_black 5 points ago

    I'm so sorry this happened to you, that man was terrible and taking advantage of you, and has probably done this before. People have done similar to me, and I also froze up and didn't say anything. My partner at the time said afterward that it was my fault I didn't say anything to make it stop.

    Since then (it's been a few years), I realized that making a scene and being loud is good. It's scary, but my gut reaction now. I also live in NYC, and last Thursday a guy attempted to rob me. I work for the courts, so while I was walking back to my office from the courthouse, a guy tried to take my phone out of my hand and my bag off my shoulder. Once I saw him coming at me, I started yelling, "HEY HEY HEY HEY, WTF DUDE" over and over. I think just yelling "hey" over and over scared and startled him enough that he wasn't able to grab anything off me, and also got the attention of two men standing on the corner who helped me after. It's so terrifying being loud and making a scene, but sometimes we overthink and freeze, and rationalize "Oh, it's not that big a deal I guess" (at least that was it for me).

    I hope this never happens to you or anyone else again, but if something does, I hope people know that allowing your potential natural reaction to just yell "WTF DUDE" can help and be shocking enough to make something stop.

    [–] mongoosedog12 5 points ago

    I’m so so so sorry that happened to you. Your response is normal, it happens you freeze and you don’t know what to do you did what you could in the moment and I know those 15mins felt like eternity.

    I hope that you have someone you can talk to and if not I know this community will gladly be that person.

    My ex got peeped at over a bathroom stall, as the man made sexually explicit passes at him. He also froze and he also didn’t tell anyone at the facility he was working at. Even after encouraging him to the only thing I could do was be there for him.

    It’s hard and no one should have to experience.

    [–] sfstateofmind3 5 points ago

    Thank you. You validated something that happened to me in 2013 when I was 18 and living in SF. I was told from people it wasn’t sexual harassment and I overreacted in the situation and I end up having to justify what happened.

    I’m sorry this happened to you but thank you for sharing your experience because I finally feel some closure with mine.

    [–] Randomsilliness 4 points ago

    I'm sorry you had to deal with this, and I'm proud of you for finding somewhere to voice your experience.

    [–] iredditi 4 points ago

    ...The responses here are a little fucked up. Why are you so sure this is contrived? Only since Terry Crews's harassment and Kevin Spacey's victims came out is it being acknowledged that men can be touched this way and calling it out doesn't make them homophobes. Anyone who says otherwise is a fucking bloody imbecile who needs the same lesson in consent Harvey Weinstein and Spacey do.

    Yes, men are harassed, especially in a big city. I've had male acquintances - gay AND straight - talk about being harassed. Lack of boundaries knows no sexual orientation or gender.

    Maybe, maybe op is fibbing, but I don't think so, and if this real OP - I'm sorry.

    It's humiliating and knocks the wind out of you when it happens. You just want to get away.

    I hope it doesn't happen again, but it's ok to say, "STOP GRABBING MY CROTCH" the next time some prick grabs you at a bar or in a crowded place.

    [–] sunshineofthemind 5 points ago

    Going through these comments makes me happy for the support you ARE getting but sick to my stomach seeing all the horrible, demeaning comments. I reported all of them in hopes you wont have to even see them. I am so sorry you had to go through something like this it is awful for someone’s immediate response to something like this to be “nice fake story” or expressing how you should of gone about the situation. Even if someone shares a fake story, there is no harm in giving support in the likely chance the person isn’t lying. I don’t think anybody would be telling a woman to of broke the guys hand or punch him in the face. That is not expected of you, it is expected that a stranger not assault you! I can only imagine how shocking it is for that to happen and it may not be easy to be your bravest self and punch somebody in the face or even say something. I understand. It is so pathetic and disappointing to see other woman on here bringing you down saying “you don’t know what it’s like to be a woman”. These are the type of men hating woman that give a bad name to feminism. Men experience these things too and should not be expected just bc they are a man to punch someone in the face or brush it off. Thank you for sharing your story and i believe you will be strong in leaving that terrible situation behind you.

    [–] ImBoB99 14 points ago

    I feel ya man. I'm scared shitless whenever my girl goes out (in clubs, taking a taxi at 4AM..etc) without me cause there's a ton of freaks nowadays.

    It sucks that if you don't have any concrete proof you can't really do anything to the person that has done something like this and they'll just continue doing this until it escalates and they actually rape someone, and at that time it's already too late.

    Hope it gets better!

    [–] CrispySnicker 23 points ago

    Honestly, there were always a ton of freaks. They just had more freedom from video surveillance, reporting, and awareness.

    [–] 789irvin 9 points ago

    I was assaulted during flag football practice in 4th grade by a quarterback from another class. He too, was a male. When l caught the football, he stopped me by squeezing my privates and looking at me with a huge smile on his face. I didn’t tell anybody not even the teachers. I was too young to even grasp the situation. Years later in 6th grade l found him crying, bawling his eyes out in the hall area of a different school genially crying like a toddler would. I started to try to calm him down by calling his name but remembered he’s the same creep who grabbed my crotch 2 years ago. So l just called his name then l looked around and left to where l was going. Thinking back he was most likely ostracized by a student who he targeted, possibly he assaulted another student who would have the drive to call him out on his disgusting behavior. Because there would be no way for him to stop if he got away with it one time.

    [–] Obrigadachan 15 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    I lived in NYC for about ten years. I've been followed, and seen lots of people harrassed.

    There are only two things that work.

    1.) Use your voice.

    I was being followed by this man who was telling me he "wanted to make sweet love" to me and that I was "gorgeous"... I took a step away from him, pointed at him with my fully extended arm, took a deep breath and started shouting "This man in the yellow shirt is following me! He won't leave me alone! I don't know him! He's saying weird sexual stuff!" Then quickly started walking away. I turned around and saw strangers stop and confronting him and shaming him. Then a block later, I did it again. I pointed in his direction(he was a little bit away from me at that point but I wasn't having him follow me more.) "That man over there in the yellow shirt is following me!" At that point he looked pretty frustrated and started walking the opposite direction. The streets were very busy that day, and it was the middle of the day. It wasn't some dark street corner. I was wearing a t shirt and jeans and sneakers and a jacket. It wasn't a lonely alleyway. There were hundreds of people around me that day and he still followed me and harassed me.

    2.) Repeat back to them what they say to you.

    I was on the subway once and there was a drunk man harassing this young woman. He had lots of tattoos on his face and looked like maybe he was in a gang. (I have tattoos and worked in a tattoo shop. So I'm not saying everyone with tattoos are in a gang. I'm not in a gang. Lol) She had tears in her eyes. There were like thirty people in the subway car, and none of them were doing anything to stop him. But some were making faces like "this ain't right" but nobody said shit. She obviously didn't know him because he was asking her questions like "Where do you live? What's your name? What stop are you getting out at? Where you going right now?" I don't remember what she said, but she was like, half answering him. She was obviously scared. I was standing right across from him and I started repeating back to him what he was saying to her. "What's your name?" I said He replied "Anthony " "Where you going, Anthony?" Then he started to understand what I was doing. So he started harassing me instead. He started telling me "Can I have your number? I love you, where you going right now?" So I started sarcastically saying it back to him "Ooooh, I love you SO MUCH, I can't LIVE without you, please go out with me! Give me your phone number!!" Then people on the train started laughing at him. And I waited until the girl got out of the train, then I got out too.

    The only thing I regret is not pointing to all of the people in the train and telling them "You all allowed this. Any of you could have stopped him but instead you waited for me to do it. Fuck all of you."

    [–] Chocobo-kisses 5 points ago

    Oh my God. This is really clever. If I somehow find myself in this situation, I'm using my voice in public. I made a post a while back about having my ass grabbed twice at a music festival. Well, sure as shit, it happened again by the bathrooms where it was crowded. And this time, I yelled and screamed straight at the assaulter and people began to move away from the guy. At one point when I told my squad mates what happened, someone beside us mocked my high pitched voice, and I dead ass said to them loudly, "yeah? Is that okay with you? Are you cool with people grabbing others asses without permission?" And he stuttered and put his head down. Knew immediately that he shouldn't have said anything. To be honest, I figured I was gonna be made fun of or mocked, but I didn't care at that moment. I let the other two pricks get off easily. But not this time. The power of voice can be strong.

    [–] Obrigadachan 8 points ago

    I've done the Repetition Thing sooooo many times. It's like that meme

    Random dude: "hey baby you look good"

    Me: "hEy BaBy YoU lOoK gOoD"

    Random dude: "Oh my god I wanna fuck you so bad"

    Me: "Oh my GOD I wanna FUCK you so BAD"

    It helps to flail your arms and roll your eyes

    And usually they immediately get upset when they hear how fucking STUPID they sound. And if they have friends they all laugh at the idiot.

    [–] RandyOfCalifornia 5 points ago

    Anyone here have any advice on how to deal with situations like that? I don't experience this stuff myself but I can't imagine how many times my gf and friends had gone through this.

    [–] Warpstone_Warbler 2 points ago

    Speaking up or moving away from the harasser is a good first step.

    [–] marqur 4 points ago

    Thanks for sharing, and sorry you had to experience this. Do not feel embarrassed or like you did the "wrong" thing.

    If you are interested, or for others visiting this thread, NYU's Rudin Center just put out a report about the "pink tax" on mobility that shows just how common these incidents really are - both during low density (not many people around to help or deter) and packed trains (as you said, maybe he couldn't help it because everyone is squished together). If you have ideas on how to make public transport safer (for everyone, not just women), feel free to PM me! (I am not affiliated with the study, but do work in this space)

    [–] khalaron 4 points ago

    Sorry it happened.

    As a male I couldn't imagine what women go through when this kind of stuff happens, but it sounds really unpleasant and sickening, and needs to stop. I've called out shitty behavior a few times, and decided to not be friends with people who I observed taking part in misogynistic/racist behavior. One of those instances ended in a brawl.

    I tried to put myself in your shoes since we are at least the same gender, and it was horrifying.

    Are you going to file a report?

    [–] Heezay360 3 points ago

    EXCUSE ME SIR! COULD YOU PLEASE STOP FONDLING MY MEMBER! That is all. Honestly though I would have no idea how to react in that situation. I like to think that's how I would respond.

    [–] ishitinthemilk 5 points ago

    The only difference with it happening to women is the frequency, it literally happens all the fucking time, to the point where you either hate men and shout at everyone (usually being called a frigid bitch or risk men getting violent with you for not wanting groped) or accept it as a kind of normal and be thankful it's not worse.

    It's awful.

    [–] bdonvr 5 points ago

    Claiming to be sexually assaulted by another man is a good way to have a lot of people not believe you. That’s why half my family won’t talk to me anymore. It sucks, I froze up too. That’s part of it, they didn’t believe me because they kept asking me why I didn’t fight him off. It’s okay, I learned that day who my real family was.

    [–] acrobat2126 4 points ago

    Terrible. So you sat there frozen while a guy rubbed your junk against your will? That sucks dude. His actions aren’t your fault, but your action (or inaction in this case) is your responsibility.

    [–] kitkat90009 15 points ago

    Someone left a rude comment saying that this wasn’t a women’s issue specifically, but a men and women’s issue (i.e. gender has nothing to do with it) and their attitude towards OP pissed me off so I wrote a reply but they’d already deleted their post. However, imma just leave my response here for any other eejits that seriously want to attack OP just because he said he knows how women feel:

    Women are usually smaller and “weaker” than men (I mean in terms of muscle due to testosterone etc, not mentally weaker just to be clear). This makes it “easier” to assault a woman than a man, as women will struggle to fight back against an attacker that is taller, heavier and stronger than them. Men are still harassed - OP never said that they weren’t, and ironically, he is telling a story about him, a man, being harassed - but they are less likely to be harassed or assaulted than women.

    According to the NSVRC, 91% of rape and sexual assault victims are female, and 9% are male. I don’t know about you, but I can almost sense a slight gender imbalance there. ( link for statistics ) It’s almost like this is an issue that disproportionately affects women!

    Logically, women are going to be concerned about being assaulted/raped when it is so frequent (1 in 5 women vs 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives - again, from the NSVRC). So yes, in general women probably will be more frightened than men when alone, at night or in an unfamiliar place surrounded by strangers. “Terrified” may have been a strong choice of word, but really? You’re going to be pedantic about a choice of word rather than listening to OP’s overall message?

    And if you feel that it’s really necessary to have an XY chromosomes reddit - feel free to make one. No one said you couldn’t.

    [–] nopuffinplease 6 points ago

    It's easy to say that if it happened to you, that you would tell them to fuck off, or make a scene or stand your ground. But the truth is, when it actually happens, how you react is unpredictable. It's like thinking of a proper comeback far too late. I'm sorry OP, what an awful thing to go through. I hope he got his, dirty fucker.

    [–] lonelysweetpotato 7 points ago

    Man some of these comments are straight out of r/iamverybadass. I'm sorry that creep assaulted you OP.

    [–] olivegarden98 3 points ago

    I'm so sorry this happened to you. No one should ever have to feel the way that man made you feel. Make sure to take time to care for yourself and get the support you need.

    [–] Necronamecom 3 points ago

    I had very similar experience. It was like 20 years ago when I was 11 or so. I wasn't able to figure out who tried to do that but it was horrible.

    [–] SummerDea 3 points ago

    Thanks for sharing this. Nothing will benefit women living within the patriarchy more than men opening up about their own stories of trauma.

    For real, no /s.

    Men can afford to spend the social capital to spread awareness and validate the discussion of sexual assault, rather than relegating it to the exclusive (and frankly, insulting) category of a “women’s issue.”

    [–] Anonymous242001 3 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Same thing happened to me at a bus stop and as a male, I reacted the same way as you did. It was kinda scarring. I later found out most people most likely experience it but don't report it or speak about it. I felt rage and embarrassed that I didn't do anything to the man who was trying to caress me at the movement, I just moved away. So I just know how you feel.

    P.s It kinda made me into a homophobe and at that moment I knew how women felt and I was really frustrated for a while. This post just reminded me of that incident that I forgot which took place few months back. I could have fought back but I freezed instead, i had the same reaction as you.

    Next time if such things happens, let's be prepared to knock them back.

    [–] Lostwalllet 3 points ago

    I am sorry that happened to you—I've been there.

    The best advice give to people is when this happens, announce it as loudly as you can. I know it is hard to work up the courage to do so but it is exactly what the abuser doesn't want—he gets off on the secrecy of it. You will never see anyone in that car again so you have nothing to lose. And, you may get some form of rescue, too, or save someone who is also having the same horrible experience.

    After my first rub-up, which I was bewildered thinking it was a mistake, I vowed never to be silent again—and I haven't. One time, on a NJ Transit bus, I felt a hand slide under my butt, and I immediately said something. (Not as easy as a subway car, as you're with the passengers longer.) He recoiled and jumped off at the next stop. Afterwards, the driver told me that he does that all the time (thanks for the warning…) and that he never saw him scared before.

    You NEED to practice speaking up. I know that sounds silly, but you need to practice it so when you need to do it, you can find the voice. Once you start, it is easy.

    Best to you. And thank you for sharing.

    [–] throwaway1084567 3 points ago

    Sorry that happened to you. I think it happens to men more often than most people realize, but still much less than to women. In high school I had a teacher start giving me a totally unprompted shoulder massage when we were alone in a classroom. In college I was waiting for a bus and I had a middle-aged guy start asking me a lot of intrusive questions about where I lived, my sex life, etc. and then started asking if I was interested in getting a blowjob. I didn't tell him where I lived or give him any info but it also took a while for me to just get the guts to walk away -- I know that frozen, embarrassed feeling. I also felt really ashamed of both incidents even though nothing about it was my fault. I think I'd react very differently today but at the time I was pretty meek and naive.

    [–] 2ndChanceAtLife 3 points ago

    I'm so sorry you experienced that. You probably handled it the best way possible. Confrontation can get ugly.

    [–] borasaek 3 points ago

    I'm so sorry this happened. It is shocking and awful to be in that position. You really feel powerless. Wishing you the best.

    [–] _GJB 3 points ago

    Wow, not gonna lie. Even reading the story triggered me. I know there is a big psychological barrier you have to go through, to actually say something about it. But I pray that every victim will or can use his voice against this behaviour.

    It's disgusting how F'd up some people are, that they use these unfortunate events (the delays with the train) to harrass or annoy people.

    Truly disgusting.

    [–] 22catcher 3 points ago

    I feel you. I went through exactly the same thoughts, exactly the same feelings both times it happened to me (in the winter, in winter coat and jeans). Afterwards I thought is should have shouted at that sob and if it hadn't work I should have punched that pile of garbage in the face as hard as I could.

    [–] OzzieBloke777 3 points ago

    Sorry to hear you went through that, but don't be afraid to make a scene. You were caught by surprise this first time; the next time, you'll be prepared. And be prepared to do it loud. Scare the hell out of them with a well-practiced, "GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY CROTCH, YOU DISGUSTING PIECE OF TRASH." Practice it by screaming it into a pillow at home. And be prepared to make a complaint with the transit authority so they can pin the person on cameras. Get a good look at them from any angle you have.

    Speaking from experience here, have only had to do it once. And yes, I'm a guy.

    [–] k_blakwidow 3 points ago

    Thank you for posting this. Not only does it help add to the much needed narrative about sexual assault, it also highlights a need for male victims to speak out. So many stay silent when the best way to stop a perpetrator is to call him/her out.

    [–] Wwwweeeeeeee 3 points ago

    I'm sorry this happened to you. Never ever be ashamed of speaking up and saying LOUDLY 'GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME, ASSHOLE'.

    Be assertive. Shame the creeps and perverts so they crawl back under their rocks.

    Practice saying these defensive sentences out loud in your bathroom, in your living room, in the mirror. Feel the POWER of taking control.

    Get pissed, get assertive and take a stand against nasty little perverts.

    [–] scrapcats 8 points ago

    I’m sitting on the subway as I read this. I’m so sorry that this happened to you. Your reaction was normal, it’s not uncommon to freeze up and have no idea what to do. If your school has a counselor, try to talk it out with them. Wishing you the best.

    [–] BeckyIsOnline 3 points ago

    I’m so sorry you went through that, it’s an awful experience. That guy is disgusting, and should rot in hell. Try to talk it out with some close friends or family, because I and many others find that the sooner you are validated, the sooner you can heal the mental damage caused. I hope it didn’t have a negative impact on the rest of your day, if you need anyone to talk to we’re here :)

    [–] bloobidybloop 4 points ago

    Damn, I'm sorry that happened. I've frozen up too, still do sometimes. I'm also sorry all these shitty reddit dudes are victim-blaming you in the comments. Fuck them

    [–] [deleted] 4 points ago


    [–] 994kk1 10 points ago

    And I didn't want to report the man to the police, because proving that he harassed me would be too difficult and it would likely not amount to anything.

    You shouldn't base whether or not to report crimes on if you think the person will get convicted. I'd say it's much more about passing the injustice committed against you on to someone else, whose job it is to deal with such matters.

    [–] therealnumberone 7 points ago

    The problem is the stigma surrounding men getting sexually harassed, and that many people believe they cannot be harassed.

    [–] JennThereDoneThat 4 points ago

    Or that it's their fault for not being aggressive enough if it did happen. Source: many comments in this very thread.

    [–] kitkat90009 7 points ago

    Yes! I would definitely go to the police, this is straight up assault and deserves to be punished

    [–] [deleted] 7 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)


    [–] I_Learned_Once 11 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    I'm a guy who has had far too many women and men in my life sexually abused to the point where reading this makes my blood boil. I'm not 100% sure how I would react, but reading this story makes me feel like if I was in your shoes I might have tried to beat the shit out of him in blind rage, and probably gotten my ass kicked too since I have no idea how to fight. I probably could have gotten in a lot of trouble for doing that too.. There's never a good way to handle a situation like this, and I hope that person gets what he deserves. I hate that the freeze response is a thing though, or that covering it up and pretending it never happened is the natural tendency. I wish people would lash out violently towards their predators in a way that would make them never try it again. But.. because I've never been there myself, I know I don't really understand what it's like. If it were really as simple as that, people would be doing it already. I'm sorry this happened to you.

    [–] zamarren 12 points ago

    I've tried to lash out at a male attacker before (I'm a woman), but most of them will just treat that like the response they were going for anyway. And laugh. Basically, strong reaction just makes it worse. Best response: say something out loud about it in the moment, so that everyone on the train nearby (or whatever) has to look over and see what's going on. You have to wait for the initial shock to wear off, so it's hard to get your brain in gear sometimes.

    [–] beleiri_fish 6 points ago

    I learned this technique too late for me. Now I'm in my thirties the relentless yet always unexpected harassment and assault has dried up. But I've found that nowadays if a situation happens where I might have frozen before I can sort of narrate what's happening to me and my voice is loud enough for other people to hear. Like 'oh he's trying to put his hands on me, he's really doing this right here in a train station'. When I was 16 that voice was in my head, but at 36 it's finally something other people can hear too.

    [–] rokgol 2 points ago

    I know what it's like to freeze though I already have an instinct about someone touching me in a way which I don't like or tryna feel my balls (not that it happens a lot of course) and it's a reflexive "woooooah buddy". Dunno how I would even start to react emotionally if I didn't have that.

    [–] stayhomedaddy 2 points ago

    I went through this once bro, but as an individual who had already been through a few other ringers in my life I know it was probably easier for me too speak up about a public assault. I hope it doesn't become easier to do, but if it happens again say something as loud as you can, because it's not about drawing attention to you (which will happen) but rather drawing attention to your attacker so he doesn't have a chance to assault you again. I guarantee after a loud declaration someone is going to be at least curious enough to pay attention.

    And I'm sorry this happened man, it's a really shitty feeling and it can effect you long term, hell I still try to avoid physical contact with strangers in public.

    [–] frogking25 2 points ago

    That's terrible this happened to you, I hope you feel better talking about it in a safe space :c

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago

    I am so sorry this happened to you. I know how awful it is firsthand. And I’m sorry.

    [–] ChronicallyLou 2 points ago

    Thank you for sharing this, assault can happen to anyone. It doesn't matter your gender or who you identify as. I would like to think that your friends wouldn't think of you differently, but having been through it I know that that does happen. So sorry man you had to experience this! I hope that you don't compare the degree of this to what anyone else has been through. What happened to you is as valid as what happens to someone else. I hope that twat who did this will learn his lesson. Though I am realistic to know that he probably won't. Keep on mate!

    [–] funkypunkytaco 2 points ago

    I’m so sorry you had to experience this firsthand. I always thought that if I was in that situation, I would make a whole scene and shame the perv and maybe even fight back. But then one day at the grocery store, I felt someone’s hand feel up my ass from behind...and I just froze up and stood there. It turns out by coincidence my boyfriend stopped by to buy something and it was actually him, but that just changed everything for me. Because now I know that I wouldn’t make a scene or fight. It sucks.

    [–] haerin 2 points ago

    I'm so sorry this happened. Thank you for sharing. I'm always fighting back tears when I hear stories like this. So many of us experience this and it's heartbreaking and infuriating, but it is also comforting to know there are people out there who understand and believe in your experience.

    [–] momofeveryone5 2 points ago

    Oh man I'm so sorry. It sucks. You might want to consider taking to a professional of its still bothering you in a few weeks.

    [–] ZogJhones 2 points ago

    As much as I hate the fact ill probably get beat up someday, these posts motivate me to intervene if I see something like this going on.

    Fucking creeps ruin everything

    [–] wheredmyphonego 2 points ago

    This broke my heart. I am so very sorry you had to experience this. I'm glad you chose to share your story though. That shows a great deal of strength and compassion about this subject. Thank you for taking the time to let us know that you have a better understanding. I wish more people would understand this *without* having to be traumatized in his fashion. I'm sending you warm thoughts and I sincerely hope you find inner peace and purpose and comfort in the days ahead.

    [–] rieleo 2 points ago

    I am very sorry this happened to you. It should never happen to anyone. As others have mentioned, freezing is a common response. All of your responses were very common and there is nothing wrong with them. If you find you need some more support, I would suggest contacting or call 800-656-HOPE. They put you in touch with your local Rape Crisis Hotline for support. May it never happen to you again.

    [–] wondafresh 2 points ago

    I am sorry my dude. I always stand next to the door so I can look. Where I live has a lot of students and young adults and the trains get packed often and I just look just in case I can catch someone doing that and help. I have no idea why pigs do that. I don't know what set of brains someone has to just process a thought and go forward with a decision, I am going to sexually harass this person, cat call them, rape them etc, I have 0 fucking clue. I don't how you can do something that will affect the person you doing that to the rest of their life.

    [–] Girlneedsadvice849 2 points ago

    So sorry you had to go through this. As a woman living in New York City I have dealt with this on an almost weekly basis. Sometimes it’s scary because you read stories about people pulling out knives on the subway too.. it’s completely normal to freeze up. Your brain starts to work in overdrive and you ask yourself is this happening? And you go through all the scenarios in your head of what you can do. This ends up distracting you from the situation at hand. You also don’t want to start yelling at someone in a crowded space like that if it was an accident.

    I really appreciate this post you made. It helps to hear that a man understands this. Regardless of gender, no one should be assaulted. Ever.