Location: Grassy park; Dupont Circle
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)
I lived in DC from ’90-’91. On a gorgeous day, which happened to coincide with my day off, I went to Dupont Circle to sit and enjoy the sunshine. After two hours of verbally chasing away and physically moving away from would-be suitors, I gave up. I went down the street to the ice-cream place, explained the situation, and asked if I could just sit there and read. The woman behind the counter had a sympathetic look on her face when she said, ‘Sure’. I bought ice-cream, even though I didn’t want or need it, in thanks (sic). Sadly, very few people who hear that story think, “How horrible, that you had to leave a public park because you felt physically threatened”. They see me as weak because I “should have stayed and just told them no”. Well, I did — but, after a quarter of my day off in the sun, I decided that my time and my physical safety were more important. Twenty-plus years later, however, I am still angry about having to make the choice between sunshine and safety.
Submitted on 7/20/12 by “Heather”
Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault?
Submit your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified.
If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system:
Please consider reporting to Metro Transit Police: www.wmata.com/harassment; 202-962-2121.