A teenage girl’s account to Lovin Malta of a man who wanked at her while she was riding the bus went viral on social yesterday, with many women publicly praising the girl for her bravery and recounting their own similarly sordid experiences.
It indicates a worryingly widespread problem on buses and other public places, with many men finding it perfectly acceptable to masturbate at a complete stranger in public.
“It happened to me and other people I know too,” one Maltese woman commented. “This isn’t anything new and unfortunately most young girls stay quiet and for those who do say something, nothing is really done to fix it. All it will take for something to be done will be for the girl to leave the bus at night and for the guy to follow her and attack her. That’s how the system works, wait till something fucks up to fix it.”
Several Maltese women said they were also masturbated at while sitting on the bus, while others said it happened to them while they were at a beach, sitting on a bench, or waiting on a bus stop.
Shockingly, some women said they experienced such sexual abuse before they were even teenagers.
“I remember when I used to use the bus when I was between 11 and 13 and these sort of things used to happen to me,” one woman said. “I’d be waiting for the bus, and a man would drive his car in front of me and start masturbating.”
Another woman responded: “This used to happen a lot…on the bus, by the beach and even near my school when I was still a child!”
Lovin Malta has sent the unedited version of the photo the 15-year-old girl sent us to the police, but many people questioned why she had not reported it straight away. Some of the responses are quite telling.
“The same exact thing happened to me while I was on the bus,” one woman said. “I took a picture of his face and reported him to the police, but unfortunately nothing happened and justice isn’t being served to that pervert.”
And this one woman summed the whole situation all up perfectly…