He looked from the woman and back to her friends with a stony expression. He couldn’t believe their request and knew he had to put a stop to it — he didn’t care that they wouldn’t like what he had to say.
But when he woke up the next morning, his face was all over the internet.
We all know that no matter how ‘fine’ we think we are after drinking, none of us should ever drive. Whenever we go out with our friends or anywhere we might have a few drinks, we should have a plan in place to take us home at the end of the night.
Surely that is what services like Uber and Lyft are for, right?
28-year-old Tro’Juan Henderson had worked for the National Domestic Violence Hotline in Austin (NDVH), and, more recently, Lyft. He thought he had seen it all, but he was very wrong.
While working his shift in Dallas, three women staggered out a hotel and to his car. He didn’t know it yet, but he was in for trouble.
Giving Him The Instructions
One of the woman’s “friends” began to give him instructions while he stood there, incredulous. Surely he hadn’t heard right? Then, she thrust a set of keys into his hands, confirming his worst fears.
He shook his head and refused, point-blank. But he never expected that he would have to defend his actions on Twitter the next day.
Tro’Juan took a step back and thought carefully about how he could defuse the situation that was unfolding. He pleaded and tried to bargain, offering the women a hefty discount on the lift.
But would they still insist on their ridiculous request? He knew in his heart that he just couldn’t live with himself if he complied.
Making A Decision
But the women didn’t want a discount or a compromise. They were dead-set on sending their friend home, even though she was in no state to look after herself.
This wasn’t the first time he had seen this kind of behavior, but he had to put a stop to it. Even worse, they had given Tro’Juan the keys to the woman’s apartment! He had to make a decision.
Standing His Ground
Tro’Juan shook his head again and asked the women to please help their friend out of the car. Then, he canceled the trip. The women were startled and confused, but he didn’t care.
But why had he refused to drive the intoxicated woman home? When he posted his reasons in a video on Twitter, netizens everywhere clapped back.
During the video, Tro’Juan tells the story of the drunk woman who was carried out of a hotel by two of her female friends. According to him, the woman was barely able to stand by herself.
The two friends handed him the woman’s house keys. They expected him to not only drive the woman home but also to take her into her own house!
Henderson was no fool. He could see how someone with less than pure intentions could easily take advantage of such a situation.
As a result, Henderson asked her two friends to drive home with her, even offering them a cheaper rate. However, the two friends were adamant. What choice did he have? He had to refuse.
When Tro’Juan explained his reasoning behind refusing to drive the woman home, he made a point about how dangerous it is for intoxicated women to be alone in a taxi.
Since he posted the video it has gone viral and has turned the Lyft driver into a crusader against rape culture. And he had something to say about the woman’s “friends.”
Tro’Juan was taking no chances. Once the woman’s friends refused to drive along with her, he refused to drive her at all. “…as a friend, that puts your friend in a possibility of great danger,” he explains in the video.
“At first, I wondered if I was wrong for not giving her a ride but I know where my heart was.”
He couldn’t help but picture what the woman might think if she woke up to find him, a complete stranger, standing in her home.
“I was like yo, if I carry her into her apartment, unlock her door, what if she wakes up and now to her, there’s this strange, 6’2″ black man carrying her into her house and she doesn’t know who I am? And who knows? She could have suffered a traumatic experience in the past that I knew nothing about.”
A Serious Problem
According to Tro’Juan, “he always knew rape was wrong.” However, it was after he attended a National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) workshop in Austin that he came to realize just how serious the problem of rape truly was.
“I remember going to a workshop and hearing a guy who said, ‘Aye man, boys will be boys.’ Like basically that because we’re men, this is in our nature and we can’t control ourselves.”
“It was a shock. I knew that was wrong. From that point on, I knew I had to be more vocal. Men have to hold themselves more accountable,” Tro’Juan told Elite Daily during an interview.
Hearing such a callous view had shaken him to his core.
These words could not be forgotten by Tro’Juan. They were powerful enough to motivate the 28-year-old to become an advocate for sexual assault survivors and victims of domestic violence. And now, with this video, he is promoting more awareness of the dangers women can find themselves in.
He stresses in his Twitter video that he didn’t want to encourage the practice of people not taking better precautions with inebriated friends.
Tro’Juan Henderson is doing his part to fight rape culture. The taxi driver hosts open mics that revolve around sexual assault awareness. He has also spoken to grade school and college students about rape.
“I do not want to crown myself. I just know a lot of guys would have looked at her and tried to take an opportunity and I want women to be aware,” he wrote on Twitter.
Not The First Time
Tro’Juan told Elite Daily how this was the second time that he tried to tell women not to let their drunk friend alone in a taxi. “The first time, I didn’t think it would be a reoccurring thing. They ended up agreeing to go together and I took them both.”
But when he was given access to another woman’s apartment by her friends, he knew he had to do something.
Taking Care Of Each Other
The second time this happened, it felt more extreme and dangerous for the drunk woman. What if he was a man with bad intentions? This is the main reason why he had to post the video on Twitter.
Men and women, Tro’Juan says, “need to take care of each other.” He emphasizes that everyone needs to be more aware of the issue.
If anything, it is even more important for women to make a plan when they know that they will be drinking. No matter who we go out with, things can easily become dangerous, it doesn’t matter how much we trust the people we are with.
Tro’Juan Henderson is a Lyft driver who refuses to pick up and drive drunk women home.