CASS Makes National Headlines: Call to Action Against Sexual Assault

CASS featured on WJLA/ABC 7, Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

Last Wednesday, July 11th, DC resident Liz Gorman was sexually assaulted in DC’s Dupont Circle. On Thursday, Liz, who immediately reported the incident to the Metropolitan Police Department, wrote about her experience on our blog. By Friday, the post had set off a viral reaction, both locally and nationally. So far, it has been republished by The Washington Post, Jezebel and Fem2.0. It has been reported on by The Washington Post Local (front page Metro section!), WJLAWTTG FOX, DCist, DCblogs and the Washington City Paper — with more interviews with CASS in the works. (Stay tuned!)

We, Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS), are elated to see such a strong, positive public and media reaction to the issues of public sexual harassment and assault. The flood of supportive comments, both on our blog and the republished pieces, underscores how Liz’s story is sadly not unique. The good news: The piece has helped lead a call for action to fight what is a common-day experience for so many women.

For those of you who are new to our crew, WELCOME. For those that have been around, we HEART you 🙂

Special note to all those who have shared their experiences with us over the last week: We will be posting submissions regularly throughout the week in their order of receipt. Thank you so much for connecting and sharing with us.

CASS seeks to empower DC Metro area to address public sexual harassment and assault through online and offline community activism. Since our founding in 2009, we have conducted over 60 trainings and have published over 700 submissions on local incidents of public sexual harassment and assault. We have been featured by WAMU radio, and local affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Mother Jones, and The Huffington Post, as well as local blogs Great Greater Washington and Prince of Petworth. CASS collaborates with other community-based organizations, government agencies, and leaders in the area to end street harassment. One example of this is our recent push for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), DC’s public bus and Metro system, to implement the first-ever anti-sexual harassment campaign, training for Metro employees and Transit police, and appropriate data collection.

DC’s WJLA/ABC 7 was the first to pick up the story of our Facebook post alerting residents of the assault.

We are a 100% volunteer-led, community-based organization.  However, we need all the help we can get! Please consider making a donation, which will help fund community trainings, events, and outreach materials, among other services, to further our mission of building a community free from public sexual harassment and assault. We are also always seeking volunteers.

We are eager to bring about more awareness of public sexual harassment and are happy to speak with the media. CASS Executive Director, Chai Shenoy, co-founded CASS in 2009 and is an expert on anti-street harassment. She can be reached at; 202.556.4232.

2 Responses

  1. dcn8v

    It’s a shame that Liz Gorman had to go through this, but I’m glad to see that national attention is being paid to her essay. Liz, thank you for speaking up, and for helping others to find their voice.

  2. […] Action for Safe Spaces (CASS). Almost immediately, her story went viral. It was picked up a plethora of local and national outlets, including The Washington Post, WJLA, FOX, Jezebel, DCist, Washington City Paper, and more. […]