Yesterday, WMATA released Metro’s Transit Police Crime Statistics and Significant Facts report. Although the title is boring, for the wonks and wonkettes out there, the numbers are quite interesting. In 2008, Metro based robbery and larceny statistics are up as compared to 2007. Not fun.
But, what really got our attention is that there were zero Metro reported cases of rape and a slight decrease in aggravated assaults. However, just few weeks ago, DC-based SANE nurses let us know that Metro and Park police do drop off rape victims. Does that mean that WMATA crime statistics don’t include rapes that happen outside the Metro station? When we called the Metro Transit Police Department to figure out these numbers and the definitions of the crimes, we were given the run around. Yeah, we know. A huge public agency not giving us a straight answer? You would never believe it.
To our dismay, the report highlights incidents between bus drivers and passengers, but not bus passenger to passenger reporting. And we know, through anecdotal evidence, that there is a lot of gender based public sexual harassment happening on our DC metro buses.
Here is our local NPR station, WAMU’s coverage of the report.
Poll time!! We want to hear from you!
First, we want to define what we mean by gender based public sexual harassment:
Gender based sexual harassment occurs in a public space when one or more individuals (man or woman) accost another individual, based on their gender, as they go about their daily life. This can include vulgar remarks, heckling, insults, innuendo, stalking, leering, fondling, indecent exposure and other forms of public humiliation. Gender based public sexual harassment occurs on a continuum starting with words, stalking, and unwanted touching which can lead to more violent crimes like rape, assault, and murder.
Now to the poll.