“I Don’t Think I’ll Feel Safe on the Metro Again”

"I Don't Think I'll Feel Safe on the DC Metro Again"

Location: 7040 Haycock Road, Falls Church, VA (West Falls Church Metro Station)
Time: Late Night (12:00am-5:00am)

I was on my way to the Vienna station when this man entered the train around West Falls Church. He was visibly nervous and fidgety. He sat down in the seat across the aisle from me, and then he would stand and walk around, then sit again and repeat.

The last time, though, I noticed he had unbuttoned his pants before he sat. I didn’t look at him directly at this point, but I did notice that he was facing towards me with his legs up on the two seats and started masturbating while staring at me. This was just past the Dunn Loring station and I knew my station was next, so I sat up to stand near the door, as I felt incredibly uncomfortable and unsure of how to react to this disgusting behavior.

This startled him, and he also stood up and started pacing again. When I got off the train, I took the steps and he followed me the whole way up, close behind. I had to start swinging my keys in fear of him getting closer. Finally when we got close to the gates, he ran in front of me and ran towards the South Entrance.

I thought of reporting this incident, but I noticed the Metro employee was sleeping, and I have not heard about any helpful responses from WMATA concerning sexual harassment so I decided against it. I don’t think I will feel safe on the Metro again. I hope CASS will be able to provide services more frequently for people like me, who are prone to become victims of sexual harassment and violence.

Submitted 1/21/15 by “YS.”

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).