December 3, 2015

Media Contact:
Claire S. Gould
(202) 556-4232

DC City Council’s First-Ever Roundtable on Street Harassment and Assault

Washington, DC—Today, DC City Council is hosting the city’s first-ever roundtable on public street harassment. The roundtable discussion, which is co-hosted by the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Housing and Community Development, will hear from DC residents, activists and City Council members about the prevalence of harassment on our city’s streets and public spaces like bars, nightclubs, and public transit—as community organizations likeCollective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) and partners propose solutions to make public spaces safe for everyone.

“By hosting this panel, DC is only the fourth city in the country to elevate the issue of public sexual harassment and assault, more commonly known as street harassment,” said Jessica Raven, Interim Executive Director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS). “We receive dozens of stories every month from members of our community who have been made to feel unsafe by behaviors ranging from catcalling and unwanted comments to unwanted touching, groping, public masturbation and assault in our city’s public spaces. And that’s just a fraction of the untold incidences that happen every day in DC.”

CASS is partnering with Stop Street Harassment, Defend Yourself, DC Rape Crisis Center, the Women’s Information Network, the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Casa Ruby, the Network for Victim Recovery DC and DC City Councilmember Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1) to work toward noncriminal, community-based solutions to this problem, such as bystander intervention trainings for bar staffs who often witness sexual harassment and can play a key role in preventing sexual assault.

The roundtable is scheduled for December 3 at 10am in Room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW).

To learn more or to speak with Jessica Raven, please

Read Jessica Raven’s full testimony, as prepared.


Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) is a grassroots organization that works to empower people in the DC metropolitan area to build a community free from public sexual harassment and assault.