“Here’s All the Street Harassment I Got From Just One Week In Columbia Heights/Petworth.”

"Here's All the Street Harassment I Got From Just One Week In Columbia Heights, DC."
“Here’s All the Street Harassment I Got From Just One Week In Columbia Heights.”

Location: Columbia Heights/Petworth
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)

What I wouldn’t give to walk around my neighborhood in peace. But alas, here’s a look at my week:

  • Sunday, Oct 6 walking alone on Spring Rd between 13th & 11th Sts around 8 pm
    A man on the opposite side of the street walking the opposite direction yells “Hey girl, you know you look good.” I respond with an unenthused “Yeah.” He says “Aww, c’mon. You don’t have to say it like that.” I respond with an even less enthused “Just trying to mind my own business.”
  • Saturday Oct 12 walking down 14th St near Monroe St with my female roommate around 2 or 3:00 pm
    Gentleman (and I use the term loosely) asks if I’d like a taste of his Mr. Goodbar while he eats a Mr. Goodbar. “Absolutely not,” I say. I hear “Aww c’mon you know it tastes good” as a I walk away.
  • Saturday, Oct 12 walking north on 14th near Parkwood with same roommate at what is now 5 or 6:00pm
    An old man sitting near the sidewalk puckers up & makes kissy noises as we pass. I give serious side eye as I say “Have some respect!”
  • Sunday October 13, Georgia Ave metro around 9:00 pm with female friend
    Riding escalators out of metro, group of guys in their early 20s are riding down. As they pass, a couple of them try to talk to us. Too exhausted to deal, I ignore them completely.

Were any of these men particularly threatening on their own? No. Not really. But when you add them together, a bunch of seemingly small comments add up & make me feel harassed & reluctant to walk around my neighborhood. Ask any woman in any city about her week & you’ll likely get a similar story. This is not an uncommon occurrence = truth = fucked up.

Thanks so much to CASS for creating a space to share my story.

Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 10/15/13 by “MK.”

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).