Dine: “The thing is, even now, I do not know if I can blame him”

At that time, I really did not know how to react. Should I have taken it as a joke and gently pushed him away, or should I have asked him firmly to stop and called a train inspector?

Let me explain, it happened on a Saturday, I had to take the train to visit my parents. I was sitting beside a window when I saw an inspector coming through the walkway, he was helping a visibly mentally handicapped man to settle in the seat across the aisle. Once the person was installed, the inspector left, and shortly afterwards the train started. I paid no further attention to this person and immersed myself in my book. We were the only two people in the car.

A short time later, I felt movement beside me, the man had changed places and now sat in the empty seat beside me. He started talking to me, and, even though it bothered me a little (I really wanted to read more of my book ). I answered, more out of politeness than anything else. His words were somewhat incoherent, I remember he told me about his mother, and how he was a big boy, travelling alone now – I didn’t notice that he had a football supporter’s glove on one hand (you know, those giant foam gloves you often see in sports movies) until he started prodding at my breasts with it.

I did not know what to do, I wanted him to stop, but I did not know how to tell him. Part of me kept reminding me that it was not really his fault, with his mental disability, I had to be nice. Eventually I had to repeat a dozen times to stop and push his hand as many times, I asked him to leave and return to his seat, but he refused.

Finally it is I who went away, as he refused to move, I had to climb over him and get my suitcase on the luggage rack above him, he took that opportunity to touch my chest again and my buttocks. I sat down further away in the compartment and I put my bag on the seat next to me, a good thing, because a few seconds later, he came to me again and tried to move it away to sit down beside me once more. This time I didn’t let him, I cried out a big “AAAHHHH” at him and said no again, pointing my finger towards the seat where he was before. He then left and did not bother me anymore.

The thing is, even now, I do not know if I can blame him. Because it is not like he was aware of his actions. Or maybe he was, and I just did not want to see it.

Dine. (Alsace, France)

I've got your back!
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Original story in French. Translated into English by Turi = Our Heroine of the Day!!!

Be our Hero/ine of the Day ?

Sta je achter Dine en wil je haar verhaal graag in het Nederlands vertalen? Dit kan je gewoon doen door hieronder je vertaling als ‘reactie’ te publiceren!

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4 Responses

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  1. hollaback! brussels says:

    Reply of Marion:

    Bonjour,

    J’ai travaillé un peu avec des déficients mentaux, j’ai appris qu’ils étaient conscients de la sexualité de leurs actes, et qu’il fallait comme les gens “ordinaires” leur fixer des limites à ne pas franchir,avec la fermeté qui s’impose. De plus, si il n’y a pas de refus très clairement exprimé, ils peuvent continuer et chercher à aller plus loin.
    Je suis désolée que tu aies du vivre ça et je comprends un peu pourquoi tu as pensé de cette manière, c’est assez difficile pour certains de les recadrer, mais il ne faut pas culpabiliser, il ne faut pas se laisser faire parce que cet homme paraît handicapé, il faut le traiter au contraire comme si c’était quelqu’un “d’ordinaire”, il doit savoir se maîtriser, c’est important pour lui comme pour les autres!

    Ne culpabilise pas trop, c’est difficile de réagir dans ces situations là ;)

  2. hollaback! brussels says:

    Bonjour Dine,

    Merci d’avoir partagé ton histoire. Tu as eu raison d’agir comme tu l’as fait. Il fallait effectivement mettre des limites.

    Je crois que le message de Marion, que nous remercions au passage :-), résume bien la situation lorsque l’on est confronté à une personne qui présente un handicap. Nous la rejoignons sur le fait que tu n’as absolument aucune raison de culpabiliser car tu as fait ce qu’il fallait.
    Nous espérons en tout cas que cette histoire ne te marquera pas trop. Tu peux être fière de toi car tu as fait preuve de courage face à cette situation et nous savons que ce n’est en effet pas toujours facile.

    Nous sommes avec toi!

    Ton équipe d’Hollaback! Bruxelles

  3. hollaback! brussels says:

    Réponse de Dine:

    Merci à Marion et l’équipe Hollaback pour vos commentaires.

    Marion tu m’as appris quelque chose, parce que je pensais réellement qu’il n’était pas tout à fait conscient que son acte était mal.
    Pour moi, (et là je m’excuse de mon raisonnement un peu… je sais pas trop comment dire) je pense que j’aurais pus le comparer à un enfant qui découvre une nouvelle chose, genre je sais pas un mulot (ou un autre animal) et qui dans sa curiosité se montre cruel envers l’animal, mais sans s’en rendre compte.

    C’est en parti pour ça que je me sentais mal de m’être emporter comme ça et de l’avoir “gronder”. Mais ton explication me déculpabilise un peu.

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