I’ve seen the following type of street harassment happen dozens of times in Adams Morgan. A few weeks ago, it finally happened to me.
The scene: Adams Morgan late night, from 10pm onward.
The players: Groups of four or more men loitering, sitting on their cars, and otherwise “hanging out” in the street. Typical activities include picking fights with men and sexually harassing women.
Also starring: Women walking on 18th Street.
The plot: The group separates a woman from her companions while one man grabs her elbow from behind. Dialogue includes, “Hey, hey, hey”, “Come here,” and “Where you going?”
In my case, I saw this stunt pulled on a woman walking ahead of me. Rejected, I was the next target. A prime candidate, because I was already walking alone.
My reaction: A big, loud, “F#$% you! Get off me!”
I’m still angry about this. The very presumption to grab a person, like they owed you something, makes my skin crawl and grates me. And, although there is an exceptional police presence in Adams Morgan on nights like this, there’s nothing the cops would or could do about this situation.
In fact, I recently saw a group of Guardian Angels in Adams Morgan in the evening. Too bad they didn’t budge from the police van outside Heaven and Hell and made a point to not engage with the people walking past in the street. Even when things got heated and it would have been useful to have someone hold people accountable.
Submitted by AD
Location: 18th & Florida Ave
Time of harassment: Late Night (12A-5A)
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