I’ve had many harassment experiences, all while riding on the bus in Hawai’i, and most of them occurred when I was a teen.
I was riding on the bus with a friend heading towards Ala Moana Center during the day. The bus was moderately full and we sat at the back. We were just talking when a man who looked homeless and was sleeping on a bunch of seats near us sat up and just started staring at us. Then he made like he was holding a gun with his hand and threatened to kill me. He blamed me for a terrible gash on his leg and kept calling me obscene things and continually threatened to shoot me. We arrived at Ala Moana and stood up to get off. He stood and got off the back exit and was waiting for us. We made a dash for the front exit and got chased into the mall by him, but luckily that nasty gash on his leg made him limp and we got away. It was very upsetting that no one bothered to help us, not even the bus driver.
I was a senior in high school at the time, catching the express A bus to town in broad daylight. I was texting a friend, minding my own business when an older man sitting across the aisle, moved a seat closer and leaned over to me. He asked, “If I give you my phone number, will you call me?” I was absolutely disgusted and scared, but I kept my eyes on the phone and simply shook my head and said no. He moved back to his old seat, but I could tell he was looking at me the whole time. It felt so uncomfortable.
In my early college years I often had to catch the express A in the morning to get to class. I was at the big transfer area in downtown and it was sometime around 8AM. The area was crowded and I had a bench seat close to the street. A bus pulled up and a man got off and was just staring at me from the start. He stood there a while, then circled around the benches, then came over rather close to the left side of me. It was extremely uncomfortable being ogled like that. Then he started talking to me. I ignored him and he hopped on a bus that pulled up.
This one happened during my later college years. I was walking around Ala Moana center with a friend and the sun was just setting. We were heading towards the parking area on the bottom floor by the tea shop, and the crowd was light. A man walks up to us and starts harassing us. He wanted us to get in his car and was coming too close to comfort, just getting up in our faces. After a minute or two of this with nobody in the area offering any help and the man not listening to us telling him to go away, I got angry and acted like I was going to fight him (I got in a defensive stance I learned from taking karate) and started towards him when he tried to get too close. Luckily he was my height and on the skinny side, so my intimidation tactics worked and he finally backed off, but had it been a bigger man I think we would’ve been in serious trouble.
Location: Ala Moana Center and downtown area, Hawai’i
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