Be vigilant and fight back, says woman sexually harassed in e-hailing cab

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Requesting a ride is increasingly becoming dangerous and unsafe for women.
Requesting a ride is increasingly becoming dangerous and unsafe for women.

It seem like there's a new story every day. A woman is sexually harassed, abducted, raped, beaten up and murdered every single day in the country. The chances of this happening increase if they use public transport.

Another South African woman believes she could have been a statistic when a driver of an e-hailing service made inappropriate comments when she got into his taxi.  

On September 11 Angyy Williams had a scary encounter. She tells us her story. 

She requested a ride on a popular app. 

“I entered the back seat and as I entered, the driver complimented my appearance, I politely answered, ‘thank you’ and I kept quiet. He then started making sexual comments towards me, and I told him that I’d like to exit the car. He proceeded to tell me to relax and that I shouldn’t worry he’ll be nice to me. I said I’ll pay him three times the Bolt fare if he just let me out. He told me to relax and made another sexual comment. We slowed down in traffic and stopped so I decided to rush to the door to run out, he grabbed my arm attempting to stop me from exiting and kept swearing and yelling at me to stop. I luckily pulled away and ran to safety,” she explains.

A disturbed Angyy shared her story on Twitter and it wasn't long before other victims spoke out. Some had used the same driver she had while others had different ones.

It's hard to feel safe using public transport, she says. "I think the concept behind these rides has been a great one, but does it really serve the purpose of a woman, especially of women living in South Africa. I think that a lot of us women would agree that we don't travel for the sake of traveling because most of us don’t own cars. So we have to use these modes of transport but you travel every single time with the additional stress of either not getting to your destination or something occurring during the ride as many of us have learnt from other women who haven’t been as fortunate,” she says.

“This experience has definitely taught me what I already know. That women aren’t safe by a long shot. However, we need to try and remain as vigilant as we can and fight back too!”

There's no guaranteed way to make sure you are not a victim, but we compiled some tips to help make your journey a little safer when using public transport:

  • Make sure the registration of the car picking you up matches the one that comes
  • Always sit behind the driver
  • Get a pepper spray and even a taser
  • Share your live location with your trusted family and friends
  • Make sure the doors aren’t on child locked
  • Get a good look at the driver and make sure he looks like his picture
  • Be attentive during the ride and make sure there aren’t any ‘short cuts’ that make you feel uncomfortable

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