NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman who refused to be a victim was honored Wednesday night. She stood up against a subway flasher, and made sure he was brought to justice.
Now, reports CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis, she was recognized as a hero.
It’s the YouTube video that had all of New York City talking – subway rider Nicola Briggs refusing to be victimized by a subway flasher, angrily calling for his arrest.
“I’m not leaving your side, my plans are done for the night, I’m escorting you to the police station,” she said in the video. “Oh yes, oh [expletive] yes!”
Her tough stand back in September was honored Wednesday by the Women’s Democratic Club of New York.
Briggs was being called a “shero” – fittingly at the famous Stonewall Inn, home of the Stonewall Riots for gay and lesbian rights – for bringing attention to subway harassment against women.
“I think it’s courageous, I think it’s beautiful, and I think it’s inspiring for many women,” Yetta Kurland, of the Women’s Democratic Club, said.
“At that moment, not one iota of fear – I knew what I needed to do, which is to take care of that individual and bring him to justice,” Briggs said.
Bring him to justice she did. Mario Valdivia, 50, was arrested, convicted, sentenced to four months in jail, and branded as a registered sex offender – a predator – for life.
“That’s what a predator is trying to do to you – to shut your emotions down, to shock you, to violate you to the point where you’re immobilized and not able to react against what he’s doing,” Briggs said.
It’s obvious when watching the video that Briggs wasn’t about to let that happen, but what viewers can’t see is how tiny she is, at just a feisty five feet tall.
“Frankly, when you’re petite, you’ve got to stand up for yourself,” Briggs said. “I learned from a very early age not to take any guff from people.”
It’s truly become a story of one woman’s courage setting an example for victims everywhere.
Briggs is a self defense instructor, but said it was her own sense of right and wrong that made her stand up.
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