sexual assault/harassment

i'm having trouble labelling my encounter as sexual assault or just harassment? 
last summer i was on public transit and it was really crowded and i kept on feeling a tapping behind me but i passed it off as just typical brushes against people on a busy streetcar. but then this lady started screaming at this man behind me to put his dick away and it turns out a man was masturbating against my butt.... and i was totally speechless and frozen i had no idea what to do. everyone on the streetcar started yelling at him and threatening to punch him, etc and then he just got off at the next stop and the driver let him go and literally did not care about what was happening.... and it was just so surreal.... because i had to get off the streetcar and go interact and be happy with strangers while i was kind of still in shock?? and i just pushed it down

i sort of blocked it from my memory but now it's come up again,over a year later and i feel so uncomfortable, i don't even know how to feel anymore. this woman on the streetcar told me that she's seen him do it to another girl before on the subway and thats how she recognized him. i feel weird that he just got away with it and he's most definitely found multiple other victims by now. so now back to the original question, is this considered sexual assault or harassment? cause there was physical touching? but idk i just feel so grossed out by it and i feel weird that i've had basically no reaction until now, is that weird??

ps. sorry this definitely could have used some punctuation but i just really needed to get it out

>I just really needed to get it out.

Yes you're doing the right thing. Thank you for the post. Interesting and slightly shocking story!

Yea when something like that happens to us we really feel a need to tell our story and get reassured that we at least are still an OK person. I can see how that could be a slight embarassment. Though I think all the attention was on the guy, rather than you.

Sounds like there was mass consensus by everyone that this guy has a problem, he was acting inappropriately, and they weren't going to put up with it so they booted him off the bus. He may be "developmentally disabled" (i.e. retarded-a boy in a man's body).

I guess you haven't yet "processed" this incident. Just "pushed it down" instead. Tell us, tell someone you trust who knows how to listen without trying to give advice, you need to be heard, then you'll feel OK again. (Thank you for telling us! It's really nice having these boards where we can talk anonymously, feel safe, talk with others, get feedback on questions we're too embarassed to ask in person, and tell stories we're too embarassed to tell in person.)

I don't know what to label it. I've never heard of this before. I'm not sure if it falls under sexual assault, or harassment, or I'm hoping there's a third label we haven't thought of yet that will fit better. 


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