Molested? Go ahead, make a scene

Molested? Go ahead, make a scene

I read The New Paper on Sunday's articles on molest cases on public transport that go unreported and thought to myself: 30 years on, and nothing has changed.

I refer especially to the interview with the 18-year-old who said she had been molested at age 15 - and had kept mum.

I too was molested on a public bus at age 15, a teenager in her school uniform on her way to school in the morning.

I had kept mum then too, and for a long time after that as well, save for a fleeting reference in a published column some years ago.

Like her, I was petrified. And like her, I can recollect the scene like it happened yesterday.

I was on bus No. 14 and had the aisle seat. As usual, the bus was packed with uniformed students and those on their way to work.

As usual, I was daydreaming until I felt something rubbing against my upper arm.

An elderly man was leaning in towards me. I thought nothing of it and shifted myself, but he persisted.

He hid his evil deed by clutching onto a green bag. Soon I felt his hand moving too.

I froze, and tried to make eye contact with the passenger next to me, a man who was unfortunately nodding off against the window pane.

I endured the journey until I reached my stop. I got up and realised that most of the passengers behind me had realised what was happening.

Their eyes bore into me.

I was suffused in shame.

On jelly legs and with a frozen face, I made it into my classroom and told a classmate about what happened.

She was mortified. She too had no idea what I should do. Over the next few weeks, I watched out for the man.

But I am not sure I would have known what to do if I saw him. I would probably avoid him, get off the bus and take the next one. But I never saw him again.

Here's a description of the man: An elderly man in his 60s, wearing a striped grey collared T-shirt. I think he should be dead by now.

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