On my way to work, I cannot help but encountering a developmentally disabled person who harasses me and other women. How can I deal with him?
I have been taking the same train to work each day for about 2 years now. A developmentally disabled person has to take the same train to get to this special workplace for developmentally disabled people. He has a habit of harassing the girls/young women at the platform and in the train.
The first time I took this train, I was 'the new face' and so he immediately jumped on me. He used a slightly impolite greeting (one usually reserved for best friends here in the Netherlands), and started asking questions like where are you going, what are you doing. I told him where I was going was none of his business, that I prefer to not disclose that information to people I do not know. He started getting aggressive, telling me I was mean to him only because of his developmental disability, and calling me names. Luckily, by that time another male commuter had arrived that I know a bit from church, and he warned the man that he should leave me alone.
After that, this man started coming up to me every single morning, (just like he does with all the other girls/women at the station) using the impolite greeting. I decided to ignore him, so it has been the same every morning since: coming up to me, saying the impolite greeting, standing in front of me for a while and shuffling on.
I am including some of the things I have tried already below, I am looking for new ways to deal with this problem.
I tried putting on big headphones and standing close to the platform so he had to cross behind me, but he still kept going at it, only now standing behind me. That scares me even more because he can be so aggressive.
I once tried reacting with the correct and polite form of greeting, but a situation much like the one described above occurred: he started asking personal questions, became aggressive and had to be sent away by another male commuter.
He also scared me really badly one morning when I was walking to the station, by blocking my way and impolitely greeting me. I had to walk through somebody else's garden and I ran the last bit to the train station. I called my parents. My parents have spoken to his parents (this man is known in my village for how he behaves towards girls/women), and apparently his behaviour has already improved from what it was, apparently he now walks on when ignored, instead of also becoming aggressive when not getting attention.
In the Netherlands there are special compartments in trains where everybody has to be absolutely silent (no talking, no whispering, no answering your phone etcetera). When he enters these train compartments and sees a girl, he just starts talking. We have had to go and fetch railway personnel regularly, because he gets very aggressive when being told he is in the special compartment and has to be quiet. But because of his behaviour almost all women/girls travel in this silent compartment, to avoid encountering him elsewhere in the train, and this makes him come into these compartments more regularly because it's where the girls/women are.
I can not take another train, because of office hours.
I can generally not avoid him at the train station, since I use the walk to/from the station as my daily exercise, this means I am almost always there before he arrives.
He seems too developmentally disabled to understand replies like 'not interested' or 'no' to his impolite greetings. He just looks at you really confused, and either walks on to harass you in the same way the next morning (best case scenario), or sees them as a conversation starter and starts asking the personal questions until a male tells him to leave me/other women/girl alone.
He gets very aggressive towards women, but will listen to men when they tell him to leave us alone. I do not like being dependent on strange men for my own safety.
I once discussed this with somebody that is an officer, and calling the police is not an option, since what he is doing is not unlawful here in the Netherlands, and because of his developmentally disability he can not be held accountable.
Ignoring this person makes me feel really bad about myself, because he can not help that he is developmentally disabled and unable to learn proper manners.
Giving him attention that is not the kind of attention that he wants makes him mad and dangerous. And when I give him attention and I know it is not what he wants, this also makes me feel like I am the bad girl.
I have tried several ways of dealing with this person, but they either have no effect, or they leave me feeling bad about myself / being scared because of his reaction. How can I deal with him better?