Public Harassment: I just got off a flight…

I just got off a flight from Qatar to Zimbabwe and I was harassed by a man for the 9 hour trip.

I was sitting in an airport lounge speaking to a friend and we were looking at the board to check when our respective flights were. My friend was catching his flight to Myanmar 20 minutes before mine. Unfortunately another person joined us at the board.. I could tell that he had been drinking a lot.. I like to travel alone so I tried to shake him off and figured that after the short walk to the plane he would just leave me be and we would go our separate ways…

It started on the way to the boarding gate…he started asking questions about if I was single and he felt that after 10 minutes we “had a connection” and asked to have my number. I told him I had a partner and it wasn’t appropriate to give him my number and I didn’t want to be friends…when we boarded the flight before it took off he came to my seat and told me he has three seats at the back and he wants me to go join him…I said no I would like to stay in my seat…same conversation about the connection etc.
Plane takes off, he comes back a second time, same thing, I really think you are someone I want to date. I told him I wasn’t interested and please leave me be. He came back the third time to do the same.. a 4th time to force his number on me…then when he was disembarking I saw him change isles so that he can go past me again…

It made me feel so uncomfortable, even though I asked him to stop and to leave me alone he just wouldn’t let it go…I didn’t know him at all…I got the flight attendants involved in the end and he was escorted off the flight by officers but I felt like I was a bad person. What if I did the wrong thing and someone got into trouble with the law and it’s my fault? I have to convince myself I did the right thing and I’m really struggling to understand why I am at war with myself when I know what he was doing was wrong. I think it is because of my culture, women should be polite and courteous no matter the situation and don’t be aggressive and I’m sick of it.

I want more people to know how to put a HARD STOP to harassment…I need to know how to do it too…please help.

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