There's this thing that happens whenever I speak about or write about women's issues. Things like dress codes, rape culture and sexism. I get the comments: Is this really that big of a deal? Aren't you being overly sensitive? Every. Single. Time. And every single time I get frustrated. Why don't they get it?
Everything about domestic violence and harassment is about power -- robbing the victim of any sort of agency and giving the abuser the feeling that he or she has the right to do what he/she is doing. The dual face of domestic violence perpetrated through threats in person and online is that there is literally nowhere in my daily life that I feel completely safe anymore.
The decision to sleep on a train is yours to make. The fact that I was asleep does not, in any way, excuse the drunk man's behavior. We need to respect people, especially in our shared spaces. We need people to keep speaking up. Not only for ourselves but for those around us as well -- we are not alone!
His name was Constantine Kargas. I had never met him or spoken to him. He was a complete stranger to me. And yet he believed we were soul mates, destined to be together. In fact, he was planning our wedding. For years I was terrorized by a stalker whose sick attentions might have derailed my career -- and ended my life.