“I’d f— that so hard her head would spin.”

Location: Dupont Circle
Time:  Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

This happened a few years back, but I thought a lot about it recently and how much it irked me. I was new to DC (hadn’t officially moved here yet, but was exploring the city after my final interview with a company), and exploring Dupont Circle. As I walked, I heard two guys behind me, clearly talking about me. One went “Look at that ass in front of you!” and the other replied “I’d f— that so hard her head would spin.”

I turned around to judge them with a withering glare, if not some verbal response since I was fresh off learning about Hollaback!, but as soon as I turned, one of them looked me right in the eyes and went “nevermind, she’s a grenade.” This was around the peak of popularity of the (unfortunate) show Jersey Shore, so he and I both know exactly what he meant.

I gave them both that withering stare, then walked into a coffee shop to recover.

If I were the person that I am now, I would’ve let them have it.

Submitted 1/10/16 by “S.G.”

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).

“I Am Worthy of Walking Down the Street Without Being Harassed!”

"I Am Worthy of Walking Down the Street Without Facing Harassment."

Location: Connecticut Ave & P St NW (Dupont Circle, Washington, DC)
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

I was clearly walking quickly, as I was running late to a meeting. This is the interaction:

Him: “Excuse me, I’m not going to ask you for a penny.”
Me: “No, I’m late.”
Him: “White bitch”
Me: “Excuse you, I don’t appreciate being called that. Please stop.”

And, then he continued to elevate his voice and continue following me and use of the term white bitch, and that as long as I was white I would be under his curse…Ugh, it was stupid and annoying and I was just sad that he threw race in there…maybe to get a rise out of me? Cops were called as he continued to escalate his antics with others on the street.

Clearly, he is disturbed. I’m trying to find ways to be compassionate, but I’m still just angry. I hate confrontation. I have every right to not engage in conversation with strangers on the street. I am worthy of walking down the street without curses being hurled at me.

The advice from the authorities…avoid him. Walk far away from him. Don’t say anything to him. Really? This is rape culture in action. Why do I need to monitor MY BEHAVIOR when he is the one exhibiting bad behavior? It was made clear that this is not the first time this has happened and that restraining orders have been issued against this man previously for the same actions. Sure, I’ll take caution and not engage with him directly, but now I need to consider crossing the street if I see this character? No. It’s my street, too.

I want to get to a place where I am not upset by seeing him or hearing him – I don’t know how to get there yet, but I hope with practice I will.

Submitted 12/27/14 by “TLA.”

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).

Dupont Circle Panera Fails to Take Sexual Harassment Seriously!

Location: DuPont Circle Panera (1350 Connecticut Ave NW)
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

I was studying downstairs at the Panera in Dupont Circle when I looked to my right and a man had his pants fully down and was masturbating in my direction. I screamed and ran upstairs to get a manager. The man walked past me and the manager on the stairs and I pointed him out. The manager asked if I wanted a cookie or anything. I told him I wanted him to call the police. He asked which seat the man was in so he could clean it off. I was crying and shaking and not sure what to do, so I left the Panera. Later I had composed myself and decided I wanted to report it. I called the police, who came to the Panera and told me they couldn’t file an official report if the man was gone. They also told me I should have called them right away so they had a chance of finding the guy, and that I should have captured what he was doing in a photo or video so they could have evidence against him. I tried to contact Panera about training their employees to respond to such incidents and didn’t get a response – but they did quickly delete my yelp review when I described what happened on the site. I haven’t been back to the Panera.

Submitted 8/4/14 by Anonymous.

TAKE ACTION! Take to Twitter to tell @panerabread that it needs to improve its response to public sexual harassment of customers!

Copy/paste: “Hey @panerabread: This story is not OK! What are you doing to take sexual harassment seriously? www.bit.ly/paneraSH #endSH @safespacesDC”

Take a stand against public sexual harassment and assault: Donate now.


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).

Public Masturbator at Dupont Starbucks

Public Masturbator at Dupont Starbucks: "It wasn't physical abuse, but I feel very, very violated."
“Public Masturbator at Dupont Starbucks” 

“It wasn’t physical abuse, but I feel very, very violated.”

Location: Dupont Circle Starbucks (1501 Connecticut Avenue, NW)
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

I was sitting in the upstairs corner at the Starbucks at DuPont Circle on a weekday morning for a couple of hours when I noticed that the man sitting directly across from me hadn’t turned the page of his newspaper in over an hour. I thought there was something suspicious about him when people kept coming over to him to ask to use the seat next to him (which he had his coat hanging over) and he would mumble and not look them in the eye. Also, every time I looked up he was glancing at me. I thought this was just coincidental eye contact, or maybe he was checking me out, but now I know it was something more…

When I looked closer I saw that the man was masturbating under the newspaper. He had a pink bandana he was wiping his hands with, he was about 5-7 feet away from me, and had his chair facing directly me and only me. Also, he was seated in such a way that “it” was pointed directly at me so where only I could see it, and it was hidden from the rest of the room.

I was so shocked, I got up (though was scared to because that would mean he could see more of my body), grabbed my things and flew downstairs. I told the barista working, and he said he would call the police. He asked me to stay around to identify the man, but I was so startled I just wanted to get out of there and get away.

I later called the police and they were not very helpful. They just assured me that they had sent officers over there, but would not allow me to describe the man or give any of my information to get in contact with me. It was revolting. I can’t believe I sat there for hours and didn’t notice what he was doing. I feel like I should have realized that it was suspicious that his chair was facing only me, that his glances were not coincidence. It wasn’t physical abuse, but I feel very, very violated.

Apparently this has happened at this location before. [Editor’s note: See here and here.] PLEASE be careful at this location. PLEASE say something if you see something. Let’s try to get this guy off the streets.

Submitted 2/17/14 by Anonymous.
Emphases by CASS.

Take a stand against public sexual harassment and assault: Donate now.


Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Submit 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).

“I Was Assaulted at a DC Bar for Turning Down a Stranger’s Advances.”

“I Was Assaulted At A DC Bar For Turning Down a Stranger’s Advances.” Photo via Flickr user constantskeptic.

Location: Midtown Nightclub in Dupont Circle
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

I am new to the DC area and a couple friends invited me to meet up with them at this nightclub. I made it to the club and was going up the stairs to meet my friends on the third floor. Two men in their mid-20’s yelled that I was “fine as hell” and cornered me. They starting touching me (one grabbed my thigh, the other my shoulders) and I resisted, shaking them off. This angered one man and he scratched my face while trying to grab me.

I should’ve alerted a bouncer or a police officer (though I get the feeling this happens frequently at this particular establishment), but I didn’t. I won’t be going back there.

Submitted 1/31/14 by “Katelyn.”
Emphases by CASS. 

NOTE FROM CASS: Sexual harassment and assault at bars and alcohol-serving establishments is a common — and completely intolerable — problem. CASS tackles the issue through our Safe Bars program, which trains staff at alcohol-serving establishments to recognize and respond to incidents of sexual harassment and assault. If you work at a bar, club, restaurant or other alcohol-serving establishment and you’d like to become a Safer Bar, we’d be happy to come and work with your staff. Contact zosia@collectiveactiondc.org for details.

Take a stand against public sexual harassment and assault: Donate now.


Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Submit 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. Recommended tip: 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).

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