Last week I was heading home from work on the green line. I was sitting down and when I looked up from the book I was reading I saw a man put face just a few inches from a woman’s face. She was standing up near the door and had her iPod on so it seemed apparent that this was very much unwanted. He was whispering at first so I could not hear what he was saying but when she didn’t respond he started getting louder. He said “You look real good. Why don’t you want to talk to me?” All the while, the woman is just staring straight ahead. The train is not crowded at all but there are a handful of other people around (including other men), staring at what is taking place but no one does anything to help her out. I am about to get up and do something when the woman sitting next to me jumps up and puts her body between the harasser and the woman. I hear her say very loudly so everyone can hear, “Hey!!! How are you? I didn’t see you over here.” The two women talk for a few minutes and and the harasser finally walks off. I hear the woman who jumped up say, “I didn’t know what was going on but I could tell you didn’t want him in your space.” The woman who was getting harassed says, “thank you” before getting off the train.
From all the stories we’ve collected on Holla Back DC! it has become apparent that a lack bystander accountability is a problem in DC so is refreshing to see someone jump in and not be an innocent bystander. I hope that this experience can inspire others to do the same when they see harassment occurring.
Location: Green Line between Chinatown and U street.
Submitted by Shannon
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