Sami’s story

I was on the 95 heading to Baseline to go to school. I was in the front of the bus where the middle doors were. Best place to sit because its not where the pregnant mothers, wheelchairs, parents with strollers or elderly need.

As I sat there I began to read my book and answer questions, another test day! A man got on the bus and sat next to me. I didn’t acknowledge him because I was focused. He got on around St. Laurent Mall. As the bus started up and moved on, I noticed that his legs were opening up, and as usual, why would it be odd? Don’t all men open their legs while sitting??
But his legs kept opening and I looked down to notice that my legs were being smooshed. I looked up with fear if anyone to notice me. No one did. Not even the elderly man looked concerned.
So I looked at him, stared into his eyes with fear, but he didn’t even care. By Hurdman station a woman was getting off and I remember this clearly because she was wearing a short skirt that would typically in a bar scene would come off as “easy target” but this man was persistent and only was keen on me.
He wore a green puffy jacket, darker skin, south east asian somewhere, I would say he was about 45-60 years old and devil eyes. He was short, about 5’7ft and he wore jeans!
By Lees I was already tearing up and I felt so stupid and silly that when I looked up again, the man in front of me looked back at me and went up to the front and got off the bus! I don’t know if he cared or said anything!
I couldn’t handle it any longer. I had to even put my book away. I was smooshed up to the wall of the bus and this man didn’t care… And he started to touch my knees and legs!

Right before University of Ottawa stop, I got up in tears, to the bus driver and told him someone was touching me. Right there and then the bus driver stopped and asked where he was. But it was too late, by Laurier he was off. The damn bus driver frigging drove to Laurier bus stop… Aren’t they supposed to stop and call for help?? Where were my damn rights??
Oh and by Laurier everyone was kicked off the bus stop and everyone cursed at me and gave me nasty looks.. Well God if I wasn’t groped, I would’ve gone to school!!

We waited another 30 minutes for security patrol of OC Transpo to arrive and I described them of the man and what happened. The bus driver practically blamed me for not saying or doing anything.

Don’t ever trust a bystander.
It broke my heart because a week later I saw the same person on another bus!
How come someone sit there and see in their corner of the eye that someone is being harassed and do NOTHING?? And what about when the person is fearful and crying and still do nothing??
It sickens me because that was over 8 years ago! And it brings back old memories which is so horrible that I have hidden this piece of information from everyone including my family, friends, professors.. I was soo ashamed of myself! This is what the attackers make you feel like!

Why I told my story? I was reading 24 Newspaper on March 19 2013 and read how Julie Lalonde, Director had met with OC Transpo who obviously ignored your request to meet with them. So yes, Julie tons of us out there.

And worse I saw this person and his face will be forever in my mind and I wouldn’t even know what to say/do if I was sexually assaulted because groping/opening of the legs and touching is soo bad enough that I barely trust men and I avoid sitting by the window/bus wall!

Thanks OC Transpo for your lack of help and delay responses.