posted in: WMATA | 6

Photo by takomabibelot via flickr

Since our first post last March we’ve received more than 200 experiences from individuals across the DC Metro area. We knew that many of the incidents occurred on pubic transportation but we were curious to find out the exact numbers.

Here is the break down:

  • 40 reported incidents occurred on the Metro
  • 8 reported incidents occurred at a bus stop
  • 4 reported incidents happened on a bus
  • 3 reported incidents were on a Metro station escalator
  • 1 reported incident happened on the Circulator
  • Of the incidents that occurred on the Metro:

  • 13 occurred on the Orange/Blue line
  • 20 happened on the Red line
  • 7 on the Green/Yellow line
  • What  types of public sexual harassment occurred on our public transportation?

  • 32 reports of verbal sexual harassment
  • 12 reports of groping reported (4 of which were thigh grabs)
  • 4 reports of physical assault
  • 4 reports of stalking
  • 3 reports of public masturbation
  • 3 reports included lewd gestures
  • 2 reports included the perpetrator invading the victim’s space
  • 2 reports of verbal harassment also included leering
  • 1 report of unwanted picture taking
  • 1 report of upskirting
  • 1 threat of physical violence and murder
  • 1 report of a man trying to get a woman into his a car while she waits at a bus stop
  • Of the above incidents 5 were reported to either WMATA officials and/or the police.  Out of those 5 cases, there was only 1 positive response, which led to the perpetrator’s arrest.

    What do these numbers mean?  It doesn’t necessarily mean that most of  the sexual harassment and assault is happening on the Red line.  It also doesn’t mean that public sexual harassment and assault it occurring much less on buses compared to the trains.  These numbers mean that a) public sexual harassment and assault IS occurring on public transportation choices in the DC metro area, b) there are resources to address it, c) but when utilized it doesn’t bear positive results for the victim.

    What can you do?

    1. Submit your experience of public sexual harassment or assault to us. It doesn’t matter which public transportation mode you utilize, let us know about it! We know that these numbers are much lower than the amount of pubic sexual harassment and assault that is actually occurring on our public transportation.  As we continue to refine our tracking tools, we will have better numbers, which means that “those in power” will feel like this is a problem.
    2. Public education on public sexual harassment and assault geared to PERPETRATORS is needed on our metros, bus stops, and over the intercom.  We need to follow the footsteps of other cities.
    3. Let WMATA know that you want them to take public sexual harassment and assault seriously.
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    6 Responses

    1. […] we know that WMATA doesn’t always responded well to  sexual harassment and assault reports, we do believe that it is important to report incidents and file complaints in order to document […]

    2. […] 9, 2010 · Leave a Comment Last week we discussed the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault on WMATA.  Today for our Public Transit Awareness Month, we look […]

    3. D

      The sad thing is you say you’ve received 200 submissions…but I alone have been harassed over 200 times in DC…violent verbal assault, men physically attacking me and my friends, pornographic rapey catcalls, men chasing me down the street, unwanted advances by strangers in the street in broad daylight…alone at night. Groping, Grabbing. I’ve since moved to NYC and I can breathe again. I feel like a whole person again…I have my dignity back, I have my life back. I’m “allowed” to leave my house, to walk down the street.

      DC is out of control. The men in DC are out of control. I hope that the movements to improve that city find some success, but the violent hatred of women that permeates those streets, is so ingrained its residents and I don’t know how it can ever change.

      That city is a disgusting disgrace to the nation. A sorry environment for the capital.

      I have a mild case of PTSD from living there…and I’m slowly beginning to engage with men without plotting how knock them unconscious


    4. […] crunched the numbers from all the experiences we’ve received and discovered that sexual harassment is problem on our public transit systems in the DC metro […]

    5. […] that time of year again! Today marks the start of our second annual Public Transit Awareness Month. For the rest of March we will focus on sexual harassment and assault on our public transportation.  […]

    6. […] last March, we’ve received more than 300 experiences. Just like last year, we wanted to know how many of […]