Street Harassed By the National Mall: “He Called Me a B*tch & Walked Off”

street harassment in dcLocation: 7th & Independence SW (L’Enfant Plaza)
Night (7:30pm-12am)

I was attending an evening event on the Mall, standing outside by myself and waiting for my friend. Imagine my surprise when a man walking past me started making comments about my ass, even though there were food trucks and plenty of gallery-goers milling around.

I yelled back that I didn’t appreciate him talking to me like that, which only seemed to encourage his ongoing commentary on my butt. Finally I yelled at him to SHUT UP (there was some pearl-clutching by bystanders at this point). The man called me a bitch and walked off.

Yelling shut up may not have been the most constructive way to engage with a street harasser. It feels wrong to silence somebody. And he honestly thought he was complimenting me and that I should be flattered. I’m trying to think of better ways to handle this if it happens again (statistically likely) but I’m not really sure how.

Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 8/22/13 by “C.”

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.

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).