Sexual Harassment & Assault at Home & Work: “I was attacked twice in three days.”

Location: Petworth and Logan Circle; on the street and also at my place of work.
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)

I was attacked twice within 3 days. On Sunday evening around 7:00 pm I was walking home from the bus stop in my neighborhood when a man started following me. He was yelling at me angrily, telling me that I better come back and that it might be worth my “money” if I did. He then he chased me to my apartment and came right up to my window, luckily I got inside. When I yelled out the window to tell him to leave me alone he got insanely angry and screamed, “Don’t you tell me what to do!” and punched my window, shattering all of the glass. This was in broad daylight in front of people sitting outside.

Then this past Tuesday, after taking Monday to recover from what had happened on Sunday, I was working at my job as a manager at a clothing store. While watching over the dressing room a man who I thought was just trying on jeans asked me to use the restroom. I noticed that he was standing in a strange way next to the dressing room curtain, and even though I told him I would show him where the bathroom was he just kept asking me more strange questions. At this point I started to become afraid. I asked him if the jeans had worked out and that’s when he turned toward me completely revealing his aroused genitals.

After my situation the previous Sunday I was beyond hysterical. Any sense of security that I had before has been completely ripped away from me and I am afraid to leave my apartment.

Obviously police reports were filed for both incidents, but that doesn’t make me feel safe to walk the streets day or night. Both incidents took place during daylight hours and in front of people. These men simply did not care. I am getting mace registered with the police department today and am thinking about leaving DC. Nobody deserves to live their life afraid.

Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 5/1/13 by “AP”

NOTE FROM CASS: If you need assistance in coping with public sexual harassment or assault, please contact the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) 24/7 crisis hotline at 202-333-RAPE (202-333-7279).

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): 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.

3 Responses

  1. John Bartelloni

    I am so sorry that this happened to you, but I am glad that you filed police reports in these incidents.

    Your entertaining the thought of leaving DC is understandable; unfortunately the same behavior is found elsewhere.

    Stand your ground. DC belongs to you and don’t let pervs scare you from it.

    As CASS suggests, DC Rape Crisis Center might be a good place for you:

  2. Ray

    Saying that street harassment happens everywhere is true but ignores the fact that it is less commonplace in a few other cities. I’d check out some places in the Pacific NW if you really are seriously considering a move. Just better over there when it comes to things like this.

  3. Loren Z. Armstrong

    Sexual harassment is an unwelcome act of a sexual nature, using assault, criminal force, or words or actions, which causes annoyance or pain of mind to the person being harassed. Although to the recipient the act is unwelcome, humiliating, disgusting, revolting and repulsive, the perpetrator may view it as complimentary, harmless, funny, ‘normal’ and even flattering. It is nevertheless sexual harassment if the act is unwelcome. Sexual harassment can occur in private or public life, between family and friends or at the workplace, public places and transportation. Both men and women can be perpetrators.