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Am I safe in public transport?

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

As a kid, as a student even now, I've always loved to travel. Especially when it comes to public transport, I'm the one who would jump out first. I like the way we can enjoy the side seat, the way we get to know more people and all.

When I get onto the bus myself, take a ticket, and get out at my correct stop I feel independent, I feel proud. Maybe it's because a whole sum of people in my country depends on the public transportation system. And among them, Buses are one of the most prominent public vehicles. We get to greet a lot of people and we get to go through a lot of things. This is my story where I learned something very important in each and everyone's life.

My story

When I was in eleventh grade, I had to travel half an hour to my high school by private bus. The bus was usually rushed at that time. My stop was second last so I have to stand back more. We'll give our backpacks to people sitting on the seat which will save more space for us to stand. We travel on the same bus every day, so the people on the bus were almost familiar to us so it wasn't that hard for us to interact with unknown people.

One day, we were standing, as usual, there were boys from my same school standing behind our backs and we all were chit-chatting. Suddenly I felt someone touching my thighs and his hands were rolling over my body. I couldn't whisper a word, he started doing this again, I couldn't do anything and I felt powerless.

When we arrived at school I hurried to my class teacher and cried a lot. I couldn't do anything when someone took advantage of me. My teacher on the other hand accused me because I stood on the male side of the private bus. I felt really bad like I was the one who did wrong. I blamed myself inside. And then one day my teacher came to our classroom and asked boys to leave and she started to tell us, girls, how valuable our bodies are, and we can't be very open to anyone. We shouldn't have a lot of male friends and we shouldn't wear provocative clothes on private buses and in public.

After long hours of lectures she left. But I stood still thinking about how I blamed myself after her accusations. I should've believed in myself, I should've raised my voice, I should've done something for myself. But I slept with regret that day.

After a few weeks, the same incident happened to my friend, I saw how he touched her. I got angry with him and asked the conductor to stop the bus. The conductor didn't even ask why and Suddenly asked the driver to stop. I said, "unless this guy is kicked out, the bus won't move forward." The conductor asked that guy to get out of the bus, when the guy yelled at me but the whole people on the bus were taking my side and were showing me their support.

The next morning when I got onto the bus a set of students approached me and congratulated me for what I've done...

In my whole life, I've been a shy girl who always struggled to say no. But now in my 19's I understand that one of the most important and strongest words is consent.

Whoever perhaps your husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, or maybe siblings if you say no, It's a no! nothing lies in between.

This is not only a story of women but also men. Understand that even a word or a phrase can be considered assault which is punishable by the law. So it's our turn to raise our voice, it's our choice.

Being safe is something we all want. We love to travel but there are times when we don't feel safe on the bus or any public transport. Everyone suggests that we not travel alone at night by bus and avoid specific stops for our safety.

But don't we deserve a safe spot on the bus? Why is it hard for us to travel alone?

We need a solution to keep us safe in public transport. We deserve safety and it's our right to travel freely and safely.

Talk to us if you ever experienced such incidents. Let's move safer together.

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