WMATA, Lyft, RightRides…we’re on a roll!

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Seen Our New Anti-Harassment PSAs On Metro?

Have you ridden the metro in the past week? Then you’ve probably seen our new anti-harassment PSAs with WMATA! The PSAs are part of WMATA’s anti-harassment campaign, which was sparked by CASS’s advocacy efforts in 2012. We couldn’t be more proud of WMATA for leading the way in helping make public transit safe for all.
>>> Here’s the awesome story behind it all.

We’re Partnering with Lyft and #ItsOnUs!

Big news – we’re partnering with the ridesharing service, Lyft! Along with Hollaback and Stop Street Harassment, CASS will help develop anti-sexual harassment and assault training materials for Lyft drivers. The project is in conjunction with #ItsOnUs, the White House-led initiative to end sexual assault.
>>> Learn more about the awesome project.

Our Next RightRides DC Service Date is Fri., March 27

We rang in 2015 with our second RightRides DC service date, and it was a smashing success! Thirty-six people received free, safe rides home to all areas of NW and NE DC — a big increase from our first service date in October. We added an extra car to the fleet and an extra 30 minutes of service thanks to the generosity of our amazing volunteers and our official RightRides DC sponsor, Zipcar.
>>> We’ll see you again from 12:00-3:30am on March 27. Don’t forget to save the RightRides number (202-556-4232) in your phone!

Help Us Make DC Bars Safer

CASS regularly receives submissions from the DC community on unwanted sexual attention, including physical assault, that takes place in local bars and clubs. As a result, we’re starting a new advocacy project to make every alcohol-serving establishment safe and welcoming. And we need your help to get started.
>>> Please take a minute to fill out our survey on your experiences with harassment or assault at DC bars or clubs.

Save the Date: “Lights, Camera, Collective Action” is April 16

Remember that awesome anniversary party we throw each year? It’s back! Our annual “Lights, Camera, Collective Action” party will be Thursday, April 16, 2015 from 6:00-8:30pm at Room & Board off U Street. Want to get in free? We need the support of awesome volunteers who can help us with a range of tasks, from getting necessary supplies to helping set up food and drinks to greeting attendees.
>>> Sign up to volunteer now!

We Held Another Anti-Harassment Training

Earlier this month, we conducted our an anti-street harassment training in Spanish for 25 amazing employees at Mary’s Center for Maternal Child Care, Inc.! The workshop, titled “Street Harassment 101: Building a Safe City,” covered definitions, assertive responses and bystander intervention strategies.
>>> Learn how you can have CASS train your group or organization.

ICYMI: Read Our 2014 Annual Report!

With your help, we accomplished a LOT in 2014! We launched RightRidesDC, helped pass the Sexual Assault Victim Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (SAVRAA) and trained 415 community members on anti-street harassment. “Before learning about CASS, I kept my head down and accepted harassment as a norm in my life,” said DC resident, Emily Biondo.
>>> Read Emily’s story and in more in our full report, “What CASS Taught Me.” 

On the CASS Blog

Harassed on the Bus: “I’m Trying Not to Let it Ruin My Day”

“How CASS Taught Me to Intervene When I Saw a Stranger Hit a Woman”

“What Do You Do When a Guy at a Bar Will NOT Take ‘No’ for an Answer?”

“A Man Indecently Exposed Himself to My Young Child”

>>>>> Share your own story with CASS.

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Introducing Our New Anti-Harassment PSAs with WMATA

Have you ridden the metro in the past week? Then you’ve probably seen our new anti-harassment PSAs with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA)!

The PSAs are part of WMATA’s anti-harassment campaign, which was sparked by CASS’s advocacy efforts in 2012. The first round of anti-harassment PSAs were released in April 2012. In conceptualizing the new round of PSAs, it was important to CASS and our partner, Stop Street Harassment, that the PSAs not address only women, but also LGBT people, populations that research shows disproportionately face sexual harassment. The ads show hands representing different races and genders to illustrate that harassment is not exclusive to any one group or sex.

We want anyone who experiences harassment — male or female, gay or straight – to know that they can take action and have a right to feel safe.

At CASS, we also believe the onus to prevent sexual harassment and assault should always be on the perpetrator, rather than the victim. In stating, “If it’s unwanted, it’s harassment,” the new PSAs can be read to address  both perpetrators and victims alike, rather than victims alone. 

Ending sexual violence requires creating culture change, and WMATA’s anti-harassment campaign is helping do just that.

It all began in 2012, when a study of our blog submissions on public sexual harassment and assault in DC found that 30 percent of all incidences reported to us took place on DC’s public transit system, including regular reports of groping, indecent exposure and public masturbation. Yet at the time, WMATA had no policies in place to address sexual harassment and assault.

So, we testified before DC Council about the need to prevent sexual harassment and assault on metro! With the help of experts, survivor testimony and friends like Stop Street Harassment, we suggested WMATA implement a three-pronged approach to addressing and preventing sexual harassment on Metro: 1) A public awareness campaign; 2) An online portal for individuals to report incidents to Metro Transit Police, along with improved data tracking of incidents; and 3) An all-staff training of WMATA’s 3,000 frontline staff on sexual harassment and assault response.

The online reporting system helps track trends to reduce the problem, and the all-staff training is integral to supporting victims and creating a quick response to the problem. The PSAs play a critical role in helping spread the message that sexual harassment is unacceptable. 

Three years after CASS first reached out to WMATA around the issue, the transit agency’s anti-sexual harassment campaign has become an international model.

Since 2012, CASS has consulted with advocates working on transit agencies in New York, Chicago, London and Canada. Here in DC, we couldn’t be more proud of WMATA for leading the way in helping make public transit safe for all.  

A look at some our of work since 2012!