I’ve spent ages this morning trying to write this. Everytime I do, the story seems too complicated. But I feel I need to write it.
Last night I had someone evicted from a pub. I was at the pub with two friends, watching another friend play live music.
A man asked me to dance, I said no, then he leant in between my friend and I and said to me “I’m a rapist”.
I asked him to leave us alone, and he walked away to play pool. I asked my friend if I just heard right, and she said yes. He said he was a rapist.
My friend and her brother would be leaving the pub soon, and that meant I’d be alone watching my other friend sing. The thought of me being somewhat alone and him still in the pub made me feel uncomfortable.
And so I went to the bar to buy a round of drinks and told the bar staff what this man said.
As I was talking to the bar staff, the man went to talk to my friend, touching her back, and he asked if his rapist comment was out of line. “What do you think?” she asked him.
Straight away the bar staff acted, telling me that what he said wasn’t right, asking if I was ok, and telling me they’d speak to management. Soon after that, management asked him to leave the pub.
I felt a bit shaken, but was so glad he was out of the pub. He did not return.
When my friends had gone, I sat alone for a while, watching my other friend play music, and felt quite comfortable talking to the strangers around me, making new friends for the night. I played some pool, drank some cider, danced, talked to some great people. It turned out to be a fun night. And I got home safely.
I think I did the right thing in telling management. They can look out for him if he comes in next time, and look out for other customers in the pub. This morning I called CrimeStoppers to give them some details about the conversation and his description. Maybe his words were just words, maybe it was the alcohol talking. Maybe he thought he was being funny. No jokes should be made about rape. I didn’t want his words to go unnoticed by authorities. I didn’t want to do nothing.
I told a few guys at the pub what had happened. All of them said that his behaviour was not ok. I felt safer being alone and knowing that these guys, some of whom I’d just met, were all anti violence and willing to say, “no that’s not ok”.
I think the recent high profile murders of women in Melbourne have got people talking, looking out for each other. The majority of people have good hearts and strength to speak up against disgusting behaviour like this man’s. That’s reassuring.
If you need immediate emergency assistance call 000.
If you want to report suspicious behaviour call CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.
If you need to talk to a crisis line call Lifeline on 13 11 14.