“I deserve to take up space in public without being sexually assaulted.”

2

Location: 7th and Pennsylvania NW
Time: Morning Rush Hour (5am-9:30am)

A guy next to me on the bus this morning was masturbating. Didn’t realize it until he got up to leave the bus and “fell” over so his crotch pushed up against my arm. I could feel his genitals through the fabric of his jeans, and his hand was way down his pants. He leered at me as he said “excuse me” and exited the bus. I was in such shock I just sat there and didn’t know what to do. A woman across from me I think saw what happened–she had a look of horror on her face, but she wouldn’t make eye contact with me afterward. Just covered her face with her hat and looked down the rest of the bus ride. That part made me even more upset–that this man taking advantage of me was also triggering for another woman. The impact of these type of assaults spreads further than we can know. I am so f’ing sick of this just being another Tuesday as a woman in public spaces. I will not just avoid being in public because men feel entitled to my body simply for existing in the world. I won’t stay home to avoid dealing with this bullshit–I deserve to take up space in public without being sexually assaulted on my way to work. This kind of crap has to stop. I’m pissed off, and you should be too. I donated to CASS this morning because this work is too important to not support.

Submitted 7/5/16

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).