CASS Update on WMATA anti-harassment efforts

On Tuesday (2/19), CASS teamed up with Holly Kearl of Stop Street Harassment (SSH) to meet with WMATA’s taskforce on sexual harassment. The meeting was to touch base with WMATA nearly a year after CASS worked with the agency to implement its first-ever anti-harassment campaign.  

On Wednesday, we posted SSH’s response to the meeting as told through SSH’s report to the Huariou Commission. We apologize if we gave the impression that we think WMATA has done everything the agency can to address the needs of survivors of public sexual harassment and assault. Here’s our take.

Still pushing to make DC Metro free of public sexual harassment & assault

CASS began working with WMATA in 2012 to implement the agency’s first-ever anti-sexual harassment campaign.

We were pleased to hear progress at Tuesday’s meeting, but we feel that there is much WMATA can still do to address the needs of survivors of public sexual harassment and assault. While we are excited that WMATA is committed to moving forward, we did ask — and are continuing to ask —  questions to hold the agency accountable. For example:

  • Why have trainings for WMATA employees still not been implemented? We realize that these processes are hard, but we must push ahead after a year of hard work.
  • How can WMATA increase reporting of these crimes knowing that one bad reaction causes several people to remain silent because they think the agency won’t care?
  • Where are the hot spots? What trends have been identified in the past year, and how can MTP respond to them?

We want to acknowledge WMATA as one of the few transit agencies in the world trying to make public transit safer for all riders, regardless of gender. And for that, we applaud WMATA, particularly Caroline Lukas and Deputy Chief Campbell. Without internal champions on this issue, DC would be like every other transit agency — keeping this crime underground. But, we’re not going to drop the ball.

There is more work to be done, and we’ll be pushing for it. Thank you, CASS community, for holding us accountable to you.