Nia Wilson’s murder on BART hits close to home. Along with many other riders, I’ve been left wondering, how do I know this won’t happen to me?
Like Nia Wilson, I’m also an 18-year-old girl and a person of color. The night she was killed, she was on the same train I ride to work every day. I often feel uneasy during my commute. Men hang outside the BART station where I get off. They catcall women passing by. I’ve been on trains with people who appear to be high or out of control, leaving me feeling trapped and helpless.
When I’m riding BART, I’m on high alert. I stay quiet, avoid eye contact, and keep my earbuds in. If anyone says anything in my direction, I pretend not to hear.
If I could opt out of BART, I would. But it’s not an option. BART is affordable and close by, so many young people on a budget, like me, find themselves riding the train to get around.
I feel the pressure to keep my guard up. I wonder if BART feels the same pressure to keep it’s riders safe.