Does This Count As Sexual Harassment? (*Warning: Contains Vulgar and Inappropriate Language.)

So up until I got to the bus station I was having a fantastic as fuck day. I was so happy. The bus station however had different ideas for me. I got there early and I saw my bus was there just turning around and I heard a guy say “The bus is at 20 to 10” an I was like “Yeah thanks”. So he asked me where I was from so I gave a general-ish area. I got on the bus and sat in the 2nd seat on the right hand side of the bus. He sat in the 1st row on the same side. That was however, until he decided to ask me “Can I sit hear?” to which I pretended not to hear him. I had earphones on I thought it would work. Alas, it did not and he asked again to which I said “Okay, I guess” and move my big heavy schoolbag as awkwardly as possible to try and show how much of a bother it was for me to move it because there was so many empty seats on that bus and he had already picked a seat beforehand. I might seem like a bitch but something didn’t seem right about the guy and boy was I right.

I kept my earphone that was closest to him in my ear while I had the other one out, in case he said anything I should hear. He asked me what my name was and I didn’t want to use my own name because this guy was grade-A creepy, even worse than an encounter I had about 3 weeks ago, but at least that was during the day and the bus was way busier. I decided to tell him one of the names that teachers always called me in school because they could never remember my actual name. I told him my name was Sarah, and before you say anything I know it’s close to my name and I know people called that but it was easy for me to remember, I needed a name that I could stick with. I wish I had picked a different name because he then said “I know a girl named Sarah she was the first girl to break my heart,” and I was in my mind like “Shit,shit,shit,shit, you’re such an idiot why did you give yourself a different name now look what you’ve done, you’ve opened the conversation up to talk about romance and heartbreak. Great job.” Although, I must admit, this guy has the memory of a goldfish because he asked me my name again about 10 minutes later and was like “Oh yeah you told me that already, sorry.” Also I spent the entire journey home on my phone just swiping across my home menus and constantly skipping through songs as something to do. I did tell him early on that I was 17 and while I know some of you might yell at me for doing so, I wanted him to know that he was entering dangerous territory. He asked did I want to exchange numbers and I said “No.”

So I should probably tell you where the sexual harassment comes into play. Right so first he goes on about how he “gets a lot of female attention from girls, but he turns a lot of them down” and then he says later that it’s so hard finding love. He said things to me like “You’re really pretty. You’ve got a great body. Can I touch your breasts? Looking at you gives me an erection and I can’t help it. Can I kiss you? We could have really great sex together.” I never looked at him the entire journey, my eyes remained on the phone. My face remained neutral, no smiling or frowning. I looked unfazed by every single thing that he said. Inside, I was panicking. I was like “Oh my God, he is going to kill me. He is going to rape me. My dog needs to be fed and I need to get home. Just focus on home. Focus on the dog. Focus on all that went right today. Focus on people who won’t hurt me.” I answered his question about touching and kissing saying that “No you can’t because that would count as sexual assault and I could ring the guards.” He then went on to say that “It’s only assault if you don’t want it.” So I told him “Yes and I don’t want it, so it does count as assault.” He asked me then “Am I not attractive? Why don’t you want to have sex with me?” I told him that I’m not ready. “What does it take to be ready?” So i came up with this generic answer and said “When I’m comfortable with myself.” He heard it as “when I’m in control of myself.” To which he responded that “that’s the opposite of what you need to be,  you should lose control. Sex is all about losing control letting your hair down (the ONE time I have my hair tied up), and just enjoy it.

I only ever gave short, quick answers to which he stated that I was “the most unsociable  woman” he’d ever met (in my head I responded with, “that’s not news to me bitch, I’m sure people at college think the same thing”) He did say one thing that irked me which was that ” If it’s to do with sexual desire, that’s natural. Anyone that doesn’t have sexual desire is not human.” Internally I was livid, like fuck you dude. Fuck you. I didn’t seem nearly as angry on the outside and simply stated “What about asexuals? They have no sexual desire. Are they not human?” He goes “Asexuals? Oh yeah I heard of them, I see your point and I agree with you there.” Then why the FUCK did you just say what you just said you prick. He then said did I think that I was asexual because that would have been an explanation. I told him no, but that’s a lie. I do think that I could be but I’m still really unsure at this point. Sex with a man is definitely out of the question, especially after tonight’s conversation. He said “That’s good. I would never wish that upon anyone. Life is short, and we need to be able to get that pleasure.”

He brought up more than once about touching my “breasts.” He said ” If you asked to touch my penis, I would say yes.” A statement I never thought I would hear ever and I just wanted to get sick. I hate hearing about the male anatomy especially in a sexual sense. It makes me so uncomfortable. I’d say this guy was somewhere in his 20s but I wouldn’t say early 20s. Needless to say I’m somewhat traumatized after the event. He said when he was getting off the bus ” Will you shake my hand? You at least owe me that.” I shook his hand to get it over with because I knew he wouldn’t leave otherwise. In my head I was yelling ” I OWE YOU NOTHING. YOU ARE A SICK BASTARD.” Again I know this might seem a bit harsh but you weren’t there. Also I’m a very sensitive person to which he even noticed. He also said at one point when I had mentioned sexual assault and harassment ” It’s the modern world isn’t it? You can’t say anything without it being assault or harassment.” Um dude, what kinda world did you used live in? Were topics like that normal to talk about with 17 year old girls? Just casual bus banter was it?  With all that, I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight. I will spend everyday worrying that he is going to end up on the bus again with me. I’ll be in college and just anxiously anticipate seeing his face at the bus station. I don’t really know what he looks like though to be honest because I refused to look at him. I do that a lot. I don’t look at people who could potentially be dangerous. This is also why I hate public transport, especially the bus. I’m never going to be okay again after this. Now my anxiety levels have been raised to a constant high every day. Before they used to be constantly at medium levels and then made high by small incidents during a day but would soon disappear again. Now I’m even more anxious all the time than I was before. Great, just great.

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3 thoughts on “Does This Count As Sexual Harassment? (*Warning: Contains Vulgar and Inappropriate Language.)

  1. Honey I don’t know what this means in legal terms but according to me its definitely sexual abuse . He has caused mental trauma and I’m sure your government has rules to protect you from these kind of abuses. I have nothing much to say apart from stay safe and avoid isolated places or buses. And do carry a pepper spray

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  2. That’s 100% harassment, there’s no question about it. I’m sorry you had to go through that, some people just aren’t right in the head, especially if they think they have the right to disrespect you like that. You absolutely have the right to get up and move in that situation, perhaps sit closer to the bus driver and call to them if someone is giving you a hard time like that. I wouldn’t say avoid places to stay safe, that’s perpetuating fear of people (most guys don’t do that and aren’t idiots like that dude) and it’s perpetuating fear of situations. You don’t deserve to live in fear. You have the right to ride the bus without being verbally assaulted and when it happens you have a right to stand up for yourself. It’s not harsh at all to call him a sick bastard–he’s already stung you several times with inappropriate language. There’s no need to be polite to someone who thinks you’re just an object. I wish you all the best, and yes, please stay safe.

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