Man’s Story About Helping A Stranger In Need On The Subway Platform Goes Viral

Sometimes being a woman in public feels like an extreme sport, or a matter of life and death. Having lived with it a long time, I’ve personally become a bit numb to the potential dangers of being a woman alone. We simultaneously think about those dangers and compartmentalize them, moving through life with a constant awareness of potential threats in the back of our minds. It’s stressful, but it’s life.

A man on Twitter recently had a window into what that might be like after a woman turned to him when her alarms were going off. Posting under the handle @Wonderbitch82, he told a story about being on a subway platform in the Bronx when he was approached by a total stranger.

“I’m walking to the train a few minutes ago and a woman walked right up to me and gave me a tight hug and whispered quickly, ‘please act like you know me 3 guys are following me for a while,'” he wrote. “I played along then walked her 3 blocks home. What an experience for the both of us.”

The gentlemen seemed pretty shaken by the whole experience.

For a moment, he did wonder if the woman was trying to set him up for a mugging or worse, but he saw the men behind her and her desperation was very real. He took her hand and walked her to her building. The woman was very apologetic for inconveniencing him, but he reassured her it was fine. He did admit the whole situation was upsetting.

“I can only imagine how she feels because this shit never happened to me before and I’m a little taken back,” he said. “Sitting back analyzing this have me feeling a way.”

The story took off on Twitter, and @Wonderbitch82 provided an update. he had gotten the woman’s number, so he called her to check in.

The woman was still incredibly grateful the next day, telling him the men had been following her for some time, and she’d tried to outmaneuver them a few different ways before approaching a smiling stranger. He told her he had experience as a counselor and also with domestic abuse in his family that helped him recognize a serious situation and respond.

He shared how her family was affected by her brush with potential danger as well, writing, “I met her 5-year-old son, who said thank you Mister. I spoke to her mother as well who was thankful for me being there. I told her the offer still stands if she ever need someone to walk her home from the train station. Her mother was definitely grateful, some nights she work late.”

He then admitted that what had really bothered him after was the idea that if he hadn’t helped her, something truly terrible could have happened.

“She said, you’re feeling like this, now imagine what every girl & woman feel like,” he wrote. “She said you’re a good person at least to me for what you did for my family and I. Somewhere, a woman did something good to you, your presence welcoming from that smile I saw from your phone light.”

The story went viral, in part because it had a happy ending, but also because of how many people replied saying they’d had almost the exact same situation take place in their lives. Many women commented on times when they were being followed or harassed, and had to approach strangers to ask for help or for them to pretend to be a friend:

It’s exhausting to have to depend on the kindness of strangers to feel safe. The streets should be safe for everyone. But it is nice to know that when you need help, there are people out there who will want to provide it.