“I Was Sexually Assaulted at Whole Foods”

Location: Staircase exit at the Tenleytown Whole Foods
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

I was leaving Whole Foods, and a man said hello to me. He looked about 30 years old, and I am 17. I said hi and kept walking, and he ran after me saying he wanted to talk to me and got really close to me. I was already in the narrow staircase so I tried to move into a more open area because he had the intention of following me to wherever I was going, but it didn’t work. He kept getting close and closer, telling me I was beautiful and he wanted to get to know me.

He went to hug me and I couldn’t move away fast enough, and he grabbed my butt. I hit his hand away and ran as fast as I could. It was terrifying, I felt powerless and it was so hard to convince myself it was not my fault. To be clear, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT I WAS WEARING, but to prove it, I was wearing dress pants and a crew neck sweater, I had just come back from church.

Submitted 10/8/14 by Anonymous.

CASS is launching RightRides, a service to provide free rides home for women and LGBT people, from 12am-3am on Friday, October 31st. Rides, which are made possible by a partnership with Zipcar, will be operated by driver/navigator teams consisting of trained, screened volunteers. Save the number in your phone now: 202-556-4232!

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Share 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. You can 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).