life, Uncategorized

The Silent Witnesses

I have just had a video pop up on my Facebook with a girl being beaten up on public transport. The worst part was the fact a witness filmed the whole incident and there were many more people there, yet no one stepped in to help the poor girl.

Unfortunately, this is a very common scenario and I’m saying this from experience. Less than a year ago I was sexually assaulted on a train coming home from university. The male in question had me pinned to the side of the train trying to kiss me, tried putting his hand between my legs and even grabbed my hand and shoved it in his mouth. I shouted at him to stop. I shouted ‘no.’ People were looking – in fact the train was completely packed full of people, yet no one tried to help me. I went to the police, who had CCTV evidence but it only showed the tops of our heads because of the placement of the camera and no witnesses came forward. Due to this he completely got away with it, as the case was dropped due to ‘lack of evidence’ despite the DNA samples I gave.

Unbeknownst to him I actually suffer from depression and anxiety, so what he did completely broke me. I got nightmares that he was going to track me down and kill me and the thought of getting on another train left me with panic attacks. It took about a month for me to get back on a train as I had no other choice – I would have failed university otherwise and I couldn’t let him control my life. I still shake now when I’m on the train and never feel safe until I am off it and in my boyfriend’s car.

I hate him for what he did to me, but it isn’t just him that I remember. I still remember the faces of the people who stood by and did nothing. My dad was actually angrier at the witnesses than the guy, as they were the people who were meant to have morals and know right from wrong. He often states ‘what if it had been their child? How would they feel if a whole crowd of people sat back and allowed that to happen to their child?’ Are they just as guilty?