Three Passengers, One Train


Trigger warning – today’s Transit Tuesday post shares one woman’s experience describing name calling and attempted physical violence.

(click on each in order to read)




This poem tells the story of harassment and violence on transit from 3 different perspectives. It was bravely shared with us as part of our “What’s your Number” Campaign and art show in April.


The poem presents at least 2 people ( in talking about the experience, we learned the Skytrain was full when the incident that inspired the piece took place)  who experienced what is known as  the bystander effect .


Let’s revisit the experience above and see if  the 4 ‘D ( as talked about last week) could have been used at any point in this example.


** Remember, people’s own experience, trauma, skill set and comfort vary, so each of these is presented as an option and not necessarily what anyone should or could have done**


Direct –   Was there an opportunity for anyone in the story to say something like “Hey. This is not ok. Stop it.”  ? Direct intervention is often seen as one of the most challenging interventions to implement  ( good thing there are other strategies!) – can you give any ideas as to why?


Distract – Examples of distraction are trading seats with a target,  interrupting the exchange by asking something such as  “ How far away am I from metrotown?” or even deliberating causing some sort of scene to divert the attention off the target. Would something like this apply here? What distraction would you be likely to try?


Delegate – This is often the easiest for most people. In this case, for something on a skytrain you could text  Metro Vancouver Transit Police at 87 77 77 and tell them what you were witnessing. Other examples of delegation would be pressing the yellow strip located at eye level on the train, or even calling 911 as things escalated like they did in this story.


Delay – All three perspectives in this story mention other people avoiding eye contact, looking away or focussing on their phone.  Don’t underestimate what an act of solidarity making eye contact is. If you are able – stick around and offer support to someone one the receiving end of inappropriate attention. It can be as simple as asking “Are you ok” or “Can I do anything?”


Share your answers. What would you do in this situation? Tell us on twitter with the hashtag #transittuesday. While you are at it – show this rider , “S” some solidarity !
@hollabackvan     @TransitPolice


This weeks poll can be found here

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