Harassed, followed & threatened on Metro: “I couldn’t stop crying the rest of the way home.”

Location: Metro: Yellow line, between Shaw & Gallery Place
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)

I boarded the yellow line to Huntington at Columbia Heights metro station a little after 6pm. I was seated at one end of the car reading a book. A man, 40s to 50s, wearing sun glasses, started walking over to me while the train was moving. It may have been after the Shaw metro stop. He started talking to me, saying something about getting a bite to eat. I waved my hand while reading and said “I am not interested.” He immediately screamed at me “Don’t be simple! Dont be simple! Someone needs to teach you a lesson ” I said “Don’t yell at me!” He yelled “Don’t tell me what to do!” Then he shuffled away.

I was shaken by the encounter. But when we were getting near Chinatown, he came over AGAIN pacing around me. I pulled out my cellphone. He started saying again someone needed to “teach” me to not be “simple.” I said “if you don’t leave me alone I am calling the police.” He yelled “Call them!” I said “stop harassing me” three times while he kept retorting ” ain’t no one harassing you. Who are you? Harass you??” I just kept saying stop harassing me until I was off the train.

People were staring and did nothing. It was humiliating. I couldn’t stop crying the rest of the way home. It was clear that this stranger believed he had a legitimate claim on my attention. To the point that he tried to “school” me on how to behave like I was his child or worse, sister! His entitlement was shocking – I needed to be taught a lesson because I dared to refuse him without bothering to placate his ego. His attentions intrusive and in no way complimentary, and were swiftly followed by violent behavior and stalking. How pathetic.

Emphases by CASS.

Submitted on 3/6/13 by “OG”

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:
Whether the event is happening at the moment or occurred months ago, we strongly encourage you to report to Metro Transit Police (MTP): www.wmata.com/harassment or 202-962-2121. Reporting helps identify suspects as well as commons trends in harassment. Recommended tip: Program MTP’s number into your phone so you can easily reach them when needed.

Leave a Reply