'Star Wars' Writer Shares Story of Being Harassed on Atlanta Train

"I was helpless. My characters are not," said Delilah Dawson.
Courtesy of Simon & Schuster/Dolorianne Morris
Delilah Dawson

Star Wars writer Delilah Dawson went on Twitter on Sunday to speak about a harrowing experience she had on the Atlanta MARTA train.

Dawson said she was sharing the story to help herself process it, but also to remind her followers that "this is what women face every goddamn day." She added, "If you ever wonder why I write books about angry, violent, murderous women, THIS IS WHY. I was helpless. My characters are not."

Dawson, whose Star Wars novel Phasma will be released in September, recounts being on the train when she was approached by a man who called her "baby" and said she was "looking good." She said she moved to another seat away from him, but he followed her. Dawson said she put her hands up and told the harasser she was married, backing toward the door, and when this happened she alleged he "got really aggressive" and said, "Bitch, you don't tell me no. F— you. Imma get a tattoo that says f— the police and f— you." 

When the train stopped, Dawson said he followed her off yelling that he wanted to fight her and threatening to cut her. She said a man walked up through the crowd with his teenage daughter and told the harasser to leave Dawson alone and he started to threaten the man as well. 

After the harasser went up the stairs, Dawson called the police, who walked her to her car. She said she was shaking the whole way and was afraid that she would get stabbed if she had taken her eyes off of him. "Was terrified for my life," she said.

On Monday morning, Dawson thanked fans for their kind words, but said some of the reaction she received was "weirdly compassionate victim shaming."

"I could list all the weapons I own + tell you how long I studied muay thai, BJJ. But I'd rather just let you know that IT SHOULDN'T HAPPEN," wrote Dawson. "Telling me what I *should've* done when alone and threatened is kind of a dick move. I didn't fight my rapist, either. But I survived."

Here's her account of what occurred: