Street Harassed on the Way Home in Columbia Heights

Location: 14th & Irving St NW (Columbia Heights)
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

Sometimes I get asked why I seem to “hate men.” Let me clarify: I do not hate men as a gender, only the ones who cannot seem to grasp the fact that just because I have a pair of boobs does not mean I want to be touched or chatted up. Let’s take tonight for example. I got followed by a random guy for several blocks while he proceeded to call me a sexist bitch, among other names, because I declined to participate in his banter. It wasn’t until I stopped at a bus stop and started to call the police that this guy walked away, but only after threatening me and continuing to scream obscenities at me. The woman who came to my rescue mentioned that the same thing had happened to her just a few minutes prior, although it was a different man who had followed her.

And for those who will think to themselves, “Maybe it was the way she was dressed that provoked this guy,” let me inform you that I was wearing a pair of jeans and a blouse. The other woman, jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. It shouldn’t matter what I am wearing or what I look like; I deserve the right to walk the 1/2 mile to my apartment without arriving to my door shaking so badly that I can barely get my key in the door.

To all those who are parents, I am pleading with you to talk to your sons about this issue. It is not enough to warn your daughters about the danger of strange men at night, because that will never prevent men in the future from harassing them. If we change our mindset, then maybe we can change our culture that currently blames the victim instead of the harasser.

street harassed in DC
“I got followed by a random guy for several blocks while he proceeded to call me a sexist bitch, among other names.”

Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 8/19/13 by “Jenny Brown.”


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.

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).

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