SEEING RED: “Once we’re in uniform, it’s a natural deterrent,” says Gethins. “I’ve seen people over the years stop in the middle of what they’re doing and then go in opposite directions.” (PHOTOS/Sonja Anderson)

For the past 25 years, the memories of street crimes that victimized her mother have influenced Mary Gethins’s work as a Guardian Angel.

And since 2016, she’s led a special group within the Angels, the Perv Busters. They aim to protect New Yorkers, especially women on the subway, from sexual offenders. Gethins was motivated by yet another experience to lead the group: She was sexually assaulted as a young girl.

“Nobody has the right to touch anybody,” says Gethins, 51. “Nobody has the right to force themselves on you. You could be the smartest person in the world, and you could find yourself in the most terrifying situation. And you would hope that somebody would be there to help you.”