"This is where Suki was spat on for rejecting a stranger's advances."
We're celebrating a new campaign by the TTC that directly calls out the daily harassment and violence people face while riding public transit. Sexual harassment, in particular, has become a daily experience for many while riding the TTC, normalizing violence as an expected part of the morning commute.
The stories of non-consensual touching, intimidation, verbal abuse, and assault are not new. This campaign is an example of what all of us should do - validate and believe survivors of violence. We're hoping this is the first of many initiatives developed by the TTC to challenge and prevent violence.
Harassment happens so much on local busses, streetcars and subways the TTC was compelled to launch a dedicated "incident reporting" app earlier this month.
The stats alone are scary, with 55 sexual assaults reported so far this year alone, but nothing can drive home the scale of this problem like seeing, experiencing, or – in this case – reading about transit harassment first hand.
A powerful new public awareness campaign, rolled out in tandem with the aforementioned SafeTTC app, is putting riders directly into the seats of those who've been targeted by racism, homophobia, sexual harassment and other forms of violence while riding the rocket.
The campaign, announced last week, includes the recent installation of physical advertisements in transit vehicles and at stations around the city.
Dubbed "This is Where," the ad series uses frank and honest language to tell the stories of real people who've been harassed on the TTC, in the same space that customers happen to be sitting in.
"This is where Suki was spat on for rejecting a stranger's advances," reads one ad. "This is where Julia was groped on her way home from work," reads another.
The stories may sound extreme to those who haven't experienced this type of behaviour, but they're 100 percent real according to the folks behind the campaign and as evidenced by the many people praising the ads online.
"My name makes it on a streetcar," wrote one woman of an ad about a woman leaning away when stranger tried to kiss her. "Kind of fitting as the [act] mentioned did happen to me once."