The Internet is praising an Uber driver who pretended to be a woman’s boyfriend to ward off the unwanted attention of a pushy man.
According to a Drinkaware/YouGov survey almost three quarters (72%) of 18-24 year old men and women have seen some form of sexual harassment on a night out.
While, nearly two thirds (63%) of women and a quarter of men (26%) said that they had been on the receiving end of some form of sexual harassment themselves.
Unfortunately, this means women (and some men) sometimes have to resort to extreme measures in a bid to avoid unwanted advances, and that includes asking someone else to be your boyfriend.
Uber driver, Brandon Gale, was asked to step into that role recently and has since gone viral after sharing his experience online, with many praising him for coming to the woman’s aid.
“Last night, while driving for Uber, I got a call to pick up a woman from over by the fair. About 30 seconds after accepting the ride, the rider sent me a message via the app,” he wrote on Facebook.
“‘When you get here, can you pretend to be my boyfriend?’
“I didn't know to what capacity she meant, so I asked, ‘What do you mean?’. She then said, ‘I just need you to act like you know me, and that you're not my Uber driver.’”
Clearly sensing the woman was concerned, Brandon quickly took action, removing his Uber and Lyft stickers from his car window and reminding himself to keep his wedding ring out of sight.
As he went to pick the passenger up, he saw her standing with the man and wound down his window.
“The woman was my fare and she set the scene immediately. She looked over and yelled, ‘Hi, Babe! I'll be right there!’” Brandon continued.
“I didn't want to leave her hanging, so I shouted back, ‘Awesome, because I'm starving!’ I waved at the guy. He half-assedly [sic] waved back.”
It wasn’t until she was safely inside the car that the unnamed woman revealed what had happened.
“Once we got out of the guy's sight, she told me the rest of her story. She went to the fair with a bunch of friends. In that group of friends was a guy that was very forward with her and wouldn't take no for an answer. He also had a history of being very aggressive,” he explained.
“She thought that she could leave him behind by heading to her car, but he followed her, claiming to be a gentleman. Before they got to her car, she claimed to have lost her keys. He offered to give her a ride, and that's when she decided to call her ‘boyfriend.’”
He concluded his post by urging other men to question their actions and how they could be intimidating to women.
“This should never have had to happen. Men, learn to accept the word ‘no’ as a response. Learn to take responsibility for your actions. Our sons are watching you and they're learning how to treat the women in their lives by example. Lead by a better one.”
He also encouraged those who do feel unsafe to think about an exit strategy.
“Ladies, if you have the Uber or Lyft app, and you need an exit strategy, use the messaging system within the app. You can make special requests that could possibly save your life.”
And people were quick to praise the Uber driver for his “heroic” actions.
“This is amazing! You are a true hero to this woman and she will always be thankful for you! Thank you for being able to read between the lines! The world needs more people like you!” one user wrote.
“Not all heroes wear capes!!!! You saved someone daughter, friend, cousin! Thank YOU,” another agreed.
“Thank you, not only for possibly saving this woman, but thank you for sharing this,” another user commented. “This woman showed great courage, quick thinking, and resourcefulness is her actions. You answered the call by helping a person in need.”