A video of a New York City woman standing up for herself after being harassed has just gone viral. Approximately two months ago, an unnamed woman riding the 4-train through the heart of Manhattan confronted a man who rubbed up against her in the crowded train. When the man, 51-year-old Mario Valdivia, also exposed his penis, the woman rightly went OFF.
Unlike many of us who are stunned into silence, this woman told her harasser he wasn’t going to get away with treating her in such a vile way. “Oh, you’re getting fucking arrested. I’m not leaving your side,” she said. “My plans are done for the night. I’m escorting you to the police station. Oh, yes. Oh, fucking yes.”
Several people (hats off to the men who stepped up) took photos and video to use as evidence, and because everything we do these days ends up online, it was even posted to YouTube. One straphanger even said, “Aw, this shit is going on YouTube, yo.”
Thanks to the efforts of passengers, and their taped evidence, Valdivia has been charged with “forcible touching, public lewdness, and sex abuse” by the NYPD.
Kudos to this woman and the passengers on the train for standing up to this man’s despicable behavior. Until both men and women condemn these actions, harassment will continue. Men must hold each other accountable for this type of appalling behavior, and women must find the strength to report these incidents and put these harassers on notice. Ending street harassment starts with all of us.