General

Dealing with Gropers 101

patricia writes in General

Hello everyone,

When our 14-year-old daughter recently informed us of an incident that happened to her during her school commute while aboard a busy ATAC tram bus in the middle of the day, I was flabbergasted. I really thought we had adequately prepared our children for any situation they might encounter during their daily commutes: aggressive beggars, pickpockets, drunks, etc... After all, Rome is not the only major city we have ever lived in.

Apparently, there was some other nuisance that hadn’t even crossed our minds………Gropers

Groping on mass transit is more widespread than one ever imagines. Women and adolescent girls are primarily targeted. According to various websites, groping has reached epidemic portions in Japan and India to the point that laws have been enacted to curtail this disturbing act.

Has anyone had encounters with gropers while traveling in Rome’s public transit system or know someone who has? What are your tips/suggestions for steering clear of them?

Posted on: 09/11/2009 at 11:26

I had a man stand behind me on a bus and try to press himself in to me. I moved to the front of the bus and he followed. At this point I was so angry I put my keys between my fingers, I turned around & hit the man right in the face as I yelled, "No toccare me piu!" . He fell to the ground and was bleeding from his cheek. I am rather petite and I assure you that he did not expect that from a tiny woman. I hope this makes him think twice. My husband was quite proud of me and now calls me Rocky.

Of course I don't recommend your teenage daughter follow this course. She should stand as close to the driver as possible. I think if she vocalises her distress others on the bus will make sure the man in question stays away from her.

Posted on: 09/11/2009 at 13:34

I agree with Shoe, tell your daughter to voice what is happening and she should get some support from others. If she feels too intimidated to speak out then definitely try and board near the front and stay by the driver. It is a nightmare with Rome buses as well as they are so packed they are a gropers paradise!

Posted on: 09/11/2009 at 22:31

Gosh Shoe or shall I call you "Rocky" :D How terrifying it must've been to have him follow you like that ON A PUBLIC BUS! Glad you didn't hesitate to let him have it! When it happened to our daughter, a few of her classmates had just exited from the middle of the bus while she had a few more stops to go. Initially, she gave the man the benefit of the doubt (thinking it was the movement of the bus) and inched away from him. Though when he moved next to her and did it again, she bolted to the front of the bus. Fortunately, he didn't follow. He got off at the next stop.
Good suggestion, Joanne, though our daughter's far from being a wallflower! She did yell out "no!" which drew the attention of some passengers. Probably why the man exited the bus. I just hope her backpack hit him good and hard as she swung around to get away from him!

Posted on: 10/11/2009 at 17:26

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