Bystander Intervention Training in Action

Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)
Location: Petworth

I was walking home and heard sobbing and shouting from across the street. As I crossed, I saw a man holding a woman around her waist and pulling her down the block. I sped up until I was a little behind them and decided to intervene by asking ‘Hey, are you okay?’ as I learned in the CASS training.

The woman was crying very hard and didn’t answer me but her abuser let her go and came to yell at me. He called me a bitch and I backed up some and told him that he didn’t need to speak to me like that, I was just asking if she was okay.

As he was heading back to the woman, a police car came around the corner and parked near the couple. The officers got out and separated the couple, arresting him. Someone else had seen and called 911.

I went to speak to the woman and we sat down on a bench. She was in shock and panicking, we sat down and I introduced myself. We did some breathing exercises together to help her regain calm. I offered to stay with her until the police were done, she said yes so I did and we talked until she said was feeling more in control and able to head home.

I’m thankful that CASS helped prepare me to best support her.

Submitted 1/7/17 by “KS”

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): 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. Michael Lesliw

    Please let me know when you do another “Bystander Intervention Training.”

    Mike Leslie