I was taking a train back from Manchester (UK) at around 8.30 last night, and to my dismay a load of drunk football supporters also got on and sat in the seats in front of me and behind.
I was quietly reading my magazine when some of the men in front started commenting on my hair and one leant round to try and talk to me. I responded calmly and he winked at me. No harm done so far, but definitely not appreciated attention.
Unfortunately, as the train ride continued the men started to get more rowdy and were looking for entertainment. They kept making incredibly rude and sexual comments in my direction, until I was too intimidated to get up and struggle to another seat with my suitcase. I was terrified, alone, and with nowhere to go. Most upsetting to me was that I never saw a member of train staff once during my ride who I could have spoken to, the trains are unsupervised, leaving those being harrassed to fend for themselves. I don’t know of any other form of public transport where this is so often the case, and yet I’m aware that this is a common occurance.
Eventually I got up to get off the train, only to be followed with comments about my ass and what they thought of it. I was scared that they would possibly follow me off the train, as they were egging each other on to run up and touch me. Luckily I got off fast enough and walked very quickly home.
Most shamefully was that other passengers, mostly other males old enough to be my dad (I’m 20) just sat and watched whilst this happened. Do they not realise that this was someone else’s daughter, or girlfriend, or sister?
I’m considering writing to the train company about my experience, as I do feel trains should be better monitered. There is no way I should be made to feel threatened to take a train home because of my gender. It is absolutely ridiculous that people can get away with this.
I would have spoken up about it, but I was worried that fueling the fire of several very drunk men who get off on being violent and intimidating was probably a bad idea.
I would really like to see more action taken on something that has become almost expected. It shouldn’t be this way.
Location: Manchester, UK