Bravo to the Chicago CTA Tattler blog for highlighting the Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team’s spoken word event this Saturday and for generally addressing sexual harassment on the Chicago’s public transportation system.
For example, here’s a story from December about a serial genital “grinder.” A woman named Trish had a man grind up behind her on a crowded bus. When she yelled at him, another woman leaned over to say he had done it to her too. Trish called the police to file a report & tells readers:
“Ladies, if he bothers you, call him out, humiliate him before the rest of the bus/train car, and call the police! Note the time, date, run # and bus # and call the CTA too. Reporting is the only way to stop him. This is predatory sexual behavior, and it is NOT your fault, and the only way to protect yourself and your fellow passengers is to get the word out, to us and to the authorities.”
So often these types of articles end up having commenters say things about how women overreact, make things up, and dress provocatively to incite such behavior, so all of the positive, supportive comments were refreshing. Three or four women even said they thought this was the same man that had grinded on them too and so now they were going to report it too. Two of my favorite comments:
“This person is a serial molester. He forced himself on me on the 147 and I know others who have had the same experience. What you need to do is report the problem to the CTA. The person I spoke with is James Higgins and he can be reached at JHiggins@transitchicago.com. He was fully aware of this individual and even sent me a photo for me to ID him. He said you can do 2 things if this happens: ask the bus drive to sound the silent alarm and a police car will meet the bus at the next stop, or call 911 and request it yourself. Apparently they don’t yet have enough evidence to convict him, so the more people who report the problem hopefully the sooner he’ll be arrested and convicted.” – Beth
“Of the women here who said it happened to them and they suspect it might be the same guy: Can you get a time consensus on when it happened to each of you? That might help in catching the guy. If he’s on there at a particular time when he does it, it might be easier to catch him. Hell, form a posse if you know when he makes his move, stake out a spot and catch him. You all will be famous heroes!” – Dude
Crazy how one man can harass so many women and still be on the loose. It illustrates really well how women fear overreacting to or being wrong about what’s happening and so they ignore it, but we need to try to get past that and face the small chance we could be wrong and report them!
Also, do buses in other places have silent alarms? Does anyone know?