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So after moving to London almost two years ago, I had long dreamt of 'The Commute.' The hustle and bustle of busy London life that excited the young Essex girl in me. The thing that no-one really tells you? The HARASSMENT you will be subjected to on that train.
*GASP* Harassment?? What could you possibly mean??
Okay, so I get it—we're all packed onto this busy train, you might accidentally touch someone in an inappropriate place whilst being jostled between Bank station and Liverpool Street. A quick sorry and a move as far as humanly possible in the opposite direction of your 2cm space-allowance will quickly rectify this. No harm done. But I am talking about the absolute gutter-creeps that will persistently touch you in such a way that it takes you a moment to realise what they're doing. You instantly dismiss the fact that they are sexually harassing you and assume they are just squashed and innocently unable to move.
This was how I felt about every time this happened to me on the tube for the first year I lived in London. I thought 'I'm imagining things, people don't really do this on the train right?' Wrong. So wrong.
The moment I realised this was on the way to So-Ho in summer and I had a jumpsuit on. We were packed in tight on the tube and this guy next to me was super close—this was ok thought because we were all squashed (again... acceptable understanding of the situation we were all in). The next thing I knew was this hand on my thigh, again I brushed this off thinking it was an accident until the train jolted to a stop in the station and the guy full on groped me. I turned so suddenly, so shocked and the guy full on did a 180 looking in every other direction, completely avoiding me.
The woman next to me said, "Did that guy just touch you? He just touched me up too."
And with that she turned to the guy and told him to keep his hands to himself. After this—I no longer saw any incident as an innocent situation. This was the most prominent with what happened to me two days ago on the central line.
This guy got on behind me and we were really packed in. At first I felt him touch my leg—again I passed this off at first for it being busy. I then took the opportunity when some people got off to move to a less packed spot. The guy followed me and the train filled up again. The next thing I knew this guy is right up against my back and I swear to god he is pushing his crotch against my leg and moving from side to side. I was so shocked, so mortified—this guy was old enough to be my Dad—I elbowed him in the chest so that he got the message whilst we were moving and moved further forward slightly. The guy didn't stop and again pushed right up against me. I was so upset—I didn't know what to do? Do you call someone out on a packed train? What if you got it wrong and this poor person was humiliated? But actually, how can you mistake a horrible person rubbing their crotch on you for the majority of your journey? Why should you stand there and be violated liked that?
So the point of the story—IT IS NOT OKAY FOR YOU TO VIOLATE SOMEONE ON THE PACKED TUBE FOR YOUR OWN CREEP GOALS. How would you feel if someone did this to someone you loved? Does it make you feel big to intimidate people like that?
So let this be a lesson for you—I'm 5"5 with brown hair and I frequent the central line. The next time you shove your unwanted dick against my leg, I swear to god, I will Liam Neeson your ass so far through Bank station you won't get out alive.