Investigation launched after Wellington commuter interrupts man verbally abusing woman

Chantel Calverly
Chantel Calverly Photo credit: Supplied

A Wellington woman has been praised on social media after she called out a man verbally abusing a woman on a bus.

Chantel Calverly had just finished university classes for the day on Monday, and was catching a bus from the Wellington Railway Station when she heard a man start to get abusive to the woman he was with.

"I heard a man say something nasty to his partner, and then he said something again, louder," she told Newshub.

"It was along the lines of 'you better f**k up or you're gonna get it," she said.

Ms Calverly says she immediately told the man his behaviour was not okay, and that he shouldn't speak to his partner that way.

She says she wasn't afraid of the man, despite his verbal abuse.

"He wasn't scary. He was just trying to be scary with his words."

Ms Calverly was shocked that no one else spoke up as she argued with the man.

"No one said anything, the whole ride... the bus driver didn't even look our way! Everyone heard what was happening, and all the passengers were completely quiet," she told Newshub.

She says she wishes people had spoken up.

"I understand the awkwardness of the situation, and no one is obligated to say anything. But it would have been nice to have had others tell the guy it's not okay. Not really for my sake, but for the abusive man's partner to hear."

She posted about her experience on a Wellington community Facebook page, and immediately received an influx of support.

"Well done!" wrote one person "Shame on anyone that was on the bus and is reading this. Saying nothing is the same as saying it's acceptable."

Others wondered why the bus driver didn't step in to help.

"Police or Women's Refuge need to be called by the bus driver," wrote another user.

Ms Calverly says the bus driver did nothing to alleviate the situation - even alleging the driver posted a video of the altercation on his private Facebook page, but didn't help in any other way.

A Metlink spokesperson told Newshub they were aware of an incident, due to a customer complaint.

"We have launched an investigation with our bus operator into the details of this incident. Until that investigation is complete it would be inappropriate to comment," they said on Tuesday.

"The safety of our passengers and drivers is paramount and there are protocols in place which enable our drivers to call for assistance when required."

Metlink did not comment on the allegation the driver had filmed the incident.



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