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“You humanised assault. You didn’t turn away.” Woman praises man who stood up for her when she was sexually harassed on bus

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha
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A woman who was sexually harassed on a London bus has publicly thanked the man who came to her defence and is making a plea that we all “say something” when we witness inappropriate behaviour on public transport.

Kaitlyn Regehr (pictured), 30, was on the 207 bus towards Acton on Tuesday night when a man grabbed her.

Another man who she described as “tall, dark and dapper with the beard” in a Facebook post, confronted the offender and insisted “it was not acceptable (behaviour).”

He then went on to tell the man to think about the women in his life. “She could be your sister. She is someone's sister,” recalled Regehr.

Regehr, who is from Toronto and studying for a PhD at Kings College London, shared the story on Facebook in hope of finding the man who helped her to thank him:

“I thank you not just because you stood up for me, or because you made me feel safe, but because on your transit home - in this big, potentially anonymous city - you humanised assault. You didn't turn away. You took a stand. You said something.”

“In doing so you made me a person. You made us a community.

“Because you were right. I am someone's sister. We all are. And us kids should all stand up for each other.”

Her Facebook post is going viral, having been shared 18,000 times and liked by more than 33,000 people.

woman on bus

“People have messaged me, not just from London, [but] from all parts of the world. Men have contacted me too. One man contacted me on Linkedin horrified that someone could feel so entitled to grab a woman’s bum,” she told Buzzfeed

She says it’s not the first time she’s been harassed on the tube but that it’s the first time someone stepped in:

“I’m sure that it’s the same experience for many women. I guess this experience has been a huge eye opener for how much I let that behaviour go. I felt uncomfortable and kind of vulnerable in that situation, but I probably wouldn’t have done anything more if that passenger hadn’t stepped in.”

She urges those who use public transport to speak up if they witness someone suffering harassment.

“Please, let's all endeavour to 'say something'

“And please help me find this awesome dude so I can buy him a pint!” 

To the man on the 207 bus towards Acton last night (the tall, dark, and dapper one with the beard), Thank you for...

Posted by Kaitlyn Regehr on Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Sejal Kapadia Pocha covers stories about everything from women’s issues to cult foods. She describes herself as a balance between Hermione and Luna Lovegood.

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