Assault in Nantes

These are two stories, but they occurred in the same city — Nantes, France, in the Pays de la Loire province.

Story 1– I was waiting for a tram in the middle of a sunny afternoon in April. I planned to take the tram from Commerce (the center of town) to Petits Ports-Facultes, where my French university was located. As I waited for the tram, a man came up to me and rubbed his hands and arms all over my breasts. At first shocked, I started screaming and he ran away. There were easily 100+ onlookers who did nothing. It was terrible.

Story 2– Also in Nantes, I was taking the evening bus circuit from town (Commerce) to my host family’s home (near Montbazon). A strange man had followed my friends and I after dinner, but I wasn’t worried — it was only around 8pm and there’s no way he could be THAT harmful, right? He followed me onto the bus, and partway through the ride home I noticed that he was masturbating, on the bus, and staring at me with frightening and disturbing desire. Every time I moved as if I were getting off the bus, he would stand, and I knew I would be followed if I decided to stop. He moved to sit behind me, and, while he reached to touch my hair, I immediately moved to the front to sit behind the driver. I missed my stop and soon, the masturbating pervert and I were the only people on the bus. Fortunately, as the stop cycled back, a Nantes transport police officer boarded the bus. I told him what was happening, and he was dismissive. “See if he gets off first. If so, you’re fine. If not, we’ll arrest him back in the center of town.” The officer did nothing — not even talk to the man. Eventually, the man ‘finished’ — staring at me all the while– and got off the bus. I finally passed by my stop, got off the bus, and vomited on the side of the road.

– anonymous

Location: Nantes, France, in the Pays de la Loire province

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2 Responses to Assault in Nantes

  1. Golden Silence says:

    Fortunately, as the stop cycled back, a Nantes transport police officer boarded the bus. I told him what was happening, and he was dismissive. “See if he gets off first. If so, you’re fine. If not, we’ll arrest him back in the center of town.” The officer did nothing — not even talk to the man. Eventually, the man ‘finished’ — staring at me all the while– and got off the bus.

    What will it take for police to take these harassment incidents more seriously? It seems as if they’ll give anyone a badge nowadays.

  2. Margaret says:

    That’s so terrible! I can’t stand the dismissive attitude of the transit cop. Ugh!

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