Winnipeg woman says transit driver sat idle as she was sexually harassed
A Winnipeg woman is too scared to board a Winnipeg Transit bus after she was sexually harassed by three passengers while riding the bus to work.
The incident that happened last month has left the 19-year-old woman shaken.
"I didn't want to get off cause I was scared that they would follow me," said the woman, who doesn’t want to be identified.
She calls what happened a sexual assault. She was sitting near the front of the bus when a man approached her from behind.
"He tried to touch my hair and kept telling me to put my hair behind my ears. That's when I started getting uncomfortable,” she said.
Then a second man started bothering her. As an off-duty transit driver exited the bus, he told the men to leave her alone. She said he also informed the driver what was going on.
Still, her ordeal continued.
"This guy just kind of laughed it off, and went to grab my face and like touch my face and caress my cheek kind of thing."
Eventually she said three men crowded around her.
"I’d had enough when the one beside me started grabbing my hands and telling me he was like a healer, and he was trying to put his hand on my leg."
She said the bus driver let her off before her stop knowing she was in trouble. The woman said the bus driver did nothing and didn't offer assistance.
She walked alone, scared and upset across the parking lot at Kildonan Place mall.
"No one on the bus is doing anything, so how am I supposed to keep myself safe, right?"
Winnipeg police say if someone has safety or security concerns on board, tell the driver. The driver has the ability to call police.
The city said transit drivers have assault training. The Amalgamated Transit Union tells CTV drivers must report all incidents and can call for a supervisor who can be there in a matter of minutes.
Knowing all this, the 19-year-old woman wants to know why the driver was idle, and did not help her.
"That's where I feel it's not right. He should have done something."
The union said it's unaware of this case, but Winnipeg police confirm a complaint has been filed.
The woman said she hasn't been able to board a bus since.
"For the time being, I don't feel comfortable on the bus so for right now, I won't. But in the future, I will probably have to again."