Jul 21, 2017

Kaye Domingo admitted that she was having second thoughts on narrating her “safe” bus trip from Las Piñas to Vito Cruz, Manila on Facebook last Wednesday.

“I’m really having doubts about posting this because I’m still in shock and I’m not sure if this would do me some good. But I need to post this so I can reach out to my friends, family, and to every woman out there especially those who are commuting to school or work daily,” she wrote in her status.

What followed after that is her detailed account of a repulsive case of sexual harassment supplemented by a video and photos of the offender.

To summarize: A man in his late 40s to early 50s sat beside Domingo in the bus and stroked her boobs and crotch. He even rubbed her hands on his own crotch.

It has made the rounds on Facebook with thousands of shares, likes, and comments. And among the comments that express empathy are ones that point fingers to and shame the victim.

nolisoli be fixture sexual harassment

nolisoli be fixture sexual harassment

nolisoli be fixture sexual harassment

But there are also those who stood by Domingo.

nolisoli be fixture sexual harassment

nolisoli be fixture sexual harassment

nolisoli be fixture sexual harassment

It’s sad that Domingo had to post another Facebook status after five hours to defend herself from vile netizens. However, she made sure that these people’s resentment wouldn’t cripple her; if anything, it made her stronger.

“Men like him are not entitled to our bodies. Whatever state or situation I may be in—whether I lack decent sleep or whether my eyes are open or not. It’s still my body and no one has the right to touch me,” Domingo wrote in all caps.

Of course we don’t want anyone to be put in the same situation as the victim’s. Every situation is different, too. But in case you find yourself or someone getting assaulted, here are some things you can do.

Get the attention of other passengers and/or fight the offender

If you notice someone getting harrassed, speak up and let the people around know. Not all can just throw a punch at an offender, heck, even shout for help, but if you can, please do.

We asked Erika Fernandez, what she would’ve done if she’s in the victim’s position. Take note as you can do this, too.

“First I’d control that hand (left hand of the perpetrator) by twisting the wrist while calling for help. So in a span of two to two and a half seconds, I would have controlled the hand, hit him in the nose or windpipe from that angle, [and] [protect] my face from his other elbow. I’d punch his nut then throw [his] bag away because I already assumed [it] had a gun. That’s what they taught us at Krav Maga. We need to get away and get help after initial reactions.”

Report to the authorities

Victims shouldn’t tell themselves that what they’ve been through was no big deal—that it was just bad behavior, not a crime. No assault is too small. It is a big deal and tapping the police will help you and other victims out there.

It’s not easy to tell any painful story especially that of unwanted sexual attention. So if someone shares their experience, it helps to be sympathetic towards and helpful to the victim to aid in his or her recovery.


Header image courtesy of Unsplash.com

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TAGS: fixture nolisoliph rape culture self-defense sexual assault sexual harrassment trauma victim-blaming