Tracking Part II

Photo by thisisbossi via flickr

Since last March, we’ve received more than 300 experiences. Just like last year, we wanted to know how many of those experiences occurred in DC metro are public transportation related. We crunched some numbers and tracked all the experiences that have been reported to us since March 2010.

Here’s this year’s breakdown.

We received 65 reported incidents on DC public transportation. Of these reports:

  • 9 occurred at a bus stop
  • 21 occurred on a WMATA train
  • 15 occurred in a WMATA station
  • 15 occurred on a WMATA Bus
  • 1 occurred on a Circulator Bus
  • 4 occurred on the escalator in a WMATA station

Of the incidents that occurred in a WMATA station, on a train, or on an escalator:

  • 16 occurred on the Blue/Orange line
  • 15 occurred on the Red line
  • 9 occurred on the Yellow/Green line

What types of sexual harassment and assault occurred on our public transportation?

  • 41 reports of verbal sexual harassment (in one of which, the perpetrator was a WMATA employee)
  • 8 reports of invading space
  • 7 reports of public masturbation (6 of which occurred on a train)
  • 7 reports of groping (5 of which occurred on a train)
  • 3 reports of physical assault
  • 2 threats of rape
  • 1 report of lewd gestures
  • 2 reports of stalking
  • 2 reports of unwanted photo taking

How does this compare to last year?

We received 25 more reports of public sexual harassment between March 2010 and March 2011, than in the year before. There were more reports of verbal sexual harassment, public masturbation, and threats of rape.

What does it all mean?

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there has been an increase in sexual harassment and assault on DC area public transportation or that groping is less of a problem and public masturbation is more of a problem. It also doesn’t mean that public sexual harassment and assault it occurring much less on buses compared to the trains or that the Circulator is virtually harassment free. These numbers mean that public sexual harassment and assault is STILL occurring on public transportation choices in the DC metro area and that more people have started utilizing HBDC! as way to speak out.

Later this month, we’ll be looking at how WMATA has dealt with reports of of sexual harassment and assault compared last year, how they can improve their response and education around this, and what we can do as a community.

One thing we noticed as we were going through posts is that many experiences that are reported to us begin with, “I was walking to the Metro or bus stop.” So we know that while not everyone is experiencing sexual harassment and assault on public transportation, they are experiencing it en route to it.

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. Join our Community Safety Audit Team and help us further examine how we can make public transportation a safe option for women and LGBTQ individuals.
  3. Let WMATA know when you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted.

One Response

  1. […] DC! is commemorating Public Transit Awareness Month this March. Here’s a breakdown of the stories they’ve received this past year relating to harassment on public […]

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