A woman in Winnipeg, Canada, paid the ultimate price for defending a fellow female passenger from being harassed on public transportation.
A man reportedly assaulted Aisha Walker in front of a bus full of people when she tried to take a stand against sexual harassment. The attack left her with seven broken teeth, exposed nerve ends, a black eye and a bruise on her chest.
The incident unfolded over the weekend when Walker was riding a bus and saw a man pestering a young woman.
“An intoxicated homeless man got on the same bus, and began aggressively sexually harassing a young woman,” Walker explained on her GoFundMe page, adding no one else from the crowd tried to interfere and stop the man. “After about 10 minutes of this, I got out of my seat, and positioned myself in between these two people so that the man could no longer speak to her. He was upset that I did this and we began getting into a verbal argument.”
As Walker argued with the man, she said another commuter suddenly jumped in, yelling at the two to “shut up and sit down.”
“A third person, totally unrelated to the incident until that point, said that both me and the man were being stupid and we needed to shut up and sit down,” the woman, who is a mother of 5-year-old daughter, recalled. “I said, ‘I don’t know if you realize this, but I’m trying to defend a woman he was sexually harassing.’”
It was then the man suddenly punched her with full force, shattering her teeth and leaving her with a black eyes.
“It felt like not even real, it felt like a dream. Like it felt like I was watching it happen more so than actually experiencing it happen to me,” Walker said of the assault. “I had really nice teeth before, I had a really nice smile.”
The assailant reportedly got off the bus immediately. However, another passenger advised Walker to report the incident to the driver, who then stopped the vehicle and asked everyone to step off before taking the woman’s information. She later filed a police report as well, but so far, the cops have not been able to find the suspect.
Walker, who is also transgender, also wondered if there could have been another motive behind the attack.
“I don't know if he knew I was transgender, but most people assume that I'm either trans or gay, so I think there might have been an element of homophobia, or maybe transphobia. I feel like that could have played a role,” she added. “I really don't understand why this third party had a problem with me standing up for a woman on the bus. I really don't understand why it made him so mad that he felt the need to punch me in the face.”
What’s even sadder is the fact no one in the bus tried to help Walker.
“It was a really crowded bus, so I kind of expected someone to say or do something,” she said. “There were so many people who could’ve had a better chance at helping.”
Although Walker is worried about her medical expenses, she said the tragic incident would not stop her from doing the same thing again.
Sexual harassment in public transportation is a massive problem across the world. Women everywhere are afraid of using the service, putting their futures at risk over fears that they cannot move about freely.
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