When you take transit in the coming months, you’ll see a consistent message on SkyTrain and buses.
The message is about stopping sexual offending, particularly on transit.
Being a woman on transit can be an ugly experience. Men taking liberties with their hands as they squeeze by on a crowded SkyTrain car and feigning that it’s an accident. Drunk dudes harassing women at bus stops and SkyTrain stations because they think they’re “charming.” Or flat-out sexual assaults involving unwanted touching.
It’s got to stop.
To do this, the Transit Police have launched a new campaign to create an “unwelcome environment” for anyone committing these vile acts.
The messaging will be spread through 340 ad spaces allocated on SkyTrain cars, 15 ads at SkyTrain stations in addition to LCD screens, 300 ads on buses and 15 bus loop ads, including at Lougheed and Edmonds exchanges in Burnaby. An additional 35 platform posters will be placed at SkyTrain stations in mid-July and a partnership with Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers will provide advertising support across Metro Vancouver, throughout the summer.
The campaign has been developed in consultation with such groups as Battered Women’s Support Services to come up with the kind of messaging that people will remember.
The fact that we need an ad campaign to tell men not to sexually harass and assault others is a pathetic commentary on our society, but here we are.
So pay attention.
If you know someone who thinks this disgusting behaviour is OK, then confront them. If you see this activity taking place on transit, text 87-77-77 and report it.
Be part of the solution.
We would be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to recognize two very different heroes.
The first is nine-year-old Tony Leong of Burnaby, who has been honoured for his bravery and quick-thinking in pulling a kindergartner safely from the path of an oncoming car on May 31.
The second is Bosco, a police dog who risked life and paws to capture a serial bank robber during a takedown in Burnaby. The robber was known to carry guns and even grenades to commit his crimes. Thankfully, Bosco was able to put the bite on him before he could hurt anyone.
The images of heroes are usually associated with Marvel movies – people with superpowers. The reality is, heroes are ordinary people - and animals - who find a way to step up when life demands it.
We applaud them both.