Jewish Woman Groped on London Bus Tracks Down Muslim Man Who Came to Her Defense
A Jewish woman who was sexually assaulted on a London bus earlier this month met with the Muslim man who defended her after she launched a social media campaign to track him down.
According to British media reports, Kaitlyn Regehr was riding a bus when a man suddenly grabbed her. A fellow passenger, “insisting that it was not acceptable,” came to her aid.
Regehr, a writer and filmmaker, posted the story on Facebook the following day, recounting how the passenger had admonished the perpetrator, saying, “She could be your sister. She is someone’s sister.”
Wanting to thank the stranger in person for speaking up on her behalf, Regehr launched an appeal on Facebook and Instagram to help find the “awesome dude,” so she could buy him a drink.
She wrote: “To the man on the 207 bus towards Acton last night (the tall, dark, and dapper one with the beard): Thank you for saying something when that man grabbed me. You didn’t turn away. You took a stand. You said something. Because you were right. I am someone’s sister. We all are. And us kids should all stand up for each other.”
Eventually, Regehr was able to track down the stranger, Firat Ozcelik, and posted a photo of the two together on Facebook. She also expressed gratitude to those who helped her find Ozcelik, and thanked the victims of sexual assault who shared their own stories. She urged others to “follow Firat’s lead” and stand up against sexual harassment. She said her original Facebook post went “far beyond one person speaking out for another.”
“It became an international and intersectional discussion,” Regehr said. “For that, Firat and I agreed, we are both very thankful.”
Though Regehr did not make an issue out of her or her new friend’s ethnicity, the newspaper Asian World News reported that she is Jewish and Ozcelik Muslim.