“No one stepped in to help me.”

Time: Morning Rush Hour (5am-9:30am)
Location:Southern Avenue Station Bus Bay

I’m sexually harassed on a near-daily basis as I walk through the Southern Avenue bus bay to get to the metro station, but today was out of the ordinary. Two guys walked past me; one made some comment directed at me that I didn’t hear, and the other asked me, “Can I call you?” I replied, “No. Go away,” to which the men responded by laughing and mocking me, repeating “Go away” in a high-pitched voice. It was eerily similar to an elementary school playground. Not one of the approximately 20 people waiting for buses stepped in to help me as I walked away.

Submitted 12/13/16 by “JW”

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).

One Response

  1. Paul M Ruffins

    Dear Friend,

    Did you let the people around you know that you really needed help? One of the very important lessons I learned after being hit in the face on the New York City Subway when I was a teenager, is that people are much more willing to help if they can be SURE that you need help. After I got a bloody nose, an older man said, ” I didn’t realize that those guys weren’t your friends, why didn’t you say something?

    I don’t know how old you are, but if you are a young person, it can be very hard for other people to tell if you really need help, or if you are just clowning around with your friends.

    If you need help, yell something like ” I don’t know you, leave me alone!”

    As a buystander, when I see something going on with a bunch of kids that seems too rough, I ask one person, “Are you ok? Do you need the police?” It can calm things right down.