STOPIT Case Study: Kitch's story

I was on my way to work, and I was just getting the train. It's the same train line that I always get. I felt the doors close and more people just pushing in. So I was very compacted with lots of other people near me. I couldn't even reach my phone, so I had to just have one hand on the rail and just be with my own thoughts on this train. And then I felt someone push up against me, and then I felt their hands grope my bum. I just downplayed it as they're probably trying to move past or they just brushed against me by accident.

And then I felt them do it again, but this time it was more forceful. That's what made me realise that they were doing it intentionally. And it just made me feel really uncomfortable, and my heart was racing.
And then the train pulled into the next station. That's when the doors opened for the first time and I was able to shuffle into the corner. And then I had to stay on the train for another five stops. Frustratingly, I didn't get to turn around and confront them or see their face or anything. I don't know if they were still on the carriage when I was in the corner or not.

I definitely didn't treat it as a crime or acknowledge it as a crime. I didn't even want to use the word “grope.” I just really pushed it down as not a big deal. I just had these ludicrous rules as to what a crime is, and this just didn't seem like a crime to me.

Being catcalled, being looked at, having men take photos of you and you don't want them to, being aware that they're putting their body closer to you, you just have this super high limit of, "Yeah, this happens all the time. Anything up to here is just whatever." And it needs to go so far for us to feel like it's valid because we're so used to our bodies being treated like anyone has a right to them.

Looking back, I feel like it probably did impact me more than I would've thought, I now will always try to make a beeline for the safest point of the train.

Thank you. I think it's good. It's simple and to the point. It doesn't overcomplicate it. I like that there's descriptions and that a lot of the information is optional. I think if STOPIT had existed when this happened to me, I like to think I would've used it because a big barrier for me was I didn't want to be late to work if. I could have just text the police through STOPIT that's it, I've at least done what I can.

Public transport seems like this anonymous place, where you think you can just do whatever on it because there's no physical police in the carriage. Now I know that's not true. So hopefully, if more people can come to that realisation, we can stop these things happening in the first place.