“He placed a newspaper over his lap and began stroking himself.”

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Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)
Location: Silver Line Metro (Foggy Bottom to Rosslyn)

I was riding the silver line home from DC when a man sat down next to me. There were plenty of seats on the train, but he chose the one next to me. I feel like he chose me because I was busy studying and not paying attention to what was going on in the train. He placed a newspaper over his lap and began stroking himself. When I looked at him, he would stop, but when I looked away he would continue. I grabbed my belongings and said I am getting off the train, and he said “have a nice day.”

I was disgusted and went straight to the Metro police to report the incident.

Submitted 10/18/16 by “JP”

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).

Street Harassed in DC: “It Made Me Feel Like a Piece of Meat”

"I Don't Think I'll Feel Safe on the DC Metro Again"

Location: 12th Street and N Street NW, Washington, DC
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

When I was 19, I traveled into DC with my friend, who was 17. It was the second time I had gone down to the city on my own, the first was for a summer job interview in Foggy Bottom.

I felt very in charge. I love DC with all my heart and knew where I was going, listing all the different rules and fun facts of the city. I might have sounded pretentious, but I didn’t care; I was spending the day in the city without any relative accompanying me.

My mom told me to call her and go to my uncle’s place if there was any trouble. As if. When my friend and I were crossing the street, headed to Buffalo Exchange from the Mt. Vernon metro stop, two middle-aged men were on the street corner chatting. One turned to look at us, and said as we had passed, “Mm, girl, I like the way you walk.”

My friend and I exchanged shocked glances and picked up our pace. We walked a little faster, and one of the men shouted out another catcall about how he liked our jeans. Whatever confidence I had about traveling into the city quickly disappeared. It was the first time I was ever catcalled, in my favorite city out of all places, and it made me feel like I was piece of meat.

Submitted 3/1/15 by “Anonymous.”

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 on the GWU Campus: “I think about it & spontaneously start crying.”

Location: George Washington University campus; 22nd and H St NW
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

I was sitting on a bench outside, catching up with my friend on the phone. The bench faced a row of classrooms. One of the classrooms was dark, with most of the blinds drawn except for one. At first, I didn’t know what I was looking at, since it was dark and the windows were a bit tinted. Soon, though, there was no mistaking what I was seeing: A man, staring right at me, masturbating in front of the window. I could see it all. Everything.

I hung up the phone, ran inside to the door to the classroom where he was, and just kinda… stood there. Shortly thereafter, the man came out of the classroom. He just looked at me for a few seconds, made eye contact with me — and I just froze. I had no idea what to do. In hindsight, I wish I yelled, called him a pervert, took a picture – something! But all I could do was freeze. He just casually walked away, down the hallway, probably out of the building. I notified the first person I saw, who took me down the hallway to report it to GWPD. They promptly started looking for a man that matched my description, but didn’t find him.

The George Washington University campus

I can’t get the image out of my head! I just start thinking about it, spontaneously start crying. I can’t have sex with my husband. It’s so messed up. I looked through the DC registry of sex offenders a few hours later, and as I was browsing the pictures, I found someone who looks just like him. After clicking through his information, it appears that he works two blocks north of where this happened – and I walked right passed his place of employment on my way in that morning. What if this is him? What if this creep followed me?

I’m not 100% confident that it was him, though, and I’m worried that I wouldn’t be able to pick him out of a lineup, or that I would finger the wrong person and mess up someone’s life. So, I declined to report this to MPD, who would have brought him in for a lineup (apparently, standard procedure for reports of incidents involving people on the SOR). I hope that wasn’t a mistake.

Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 7/30/13 by “JB.”


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).

“I’ll never let that happen again.”

Location:  Orange Line between Foggy Bottom and Capitol South
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

I was heading home from campus, seated on the metro near a window, and reading. A man sat next to me and reached down – between my legs – to retrieve something that was on the floor near my feet. It was an old luggage tag, the kind you attach to a suitcase, and it wasn’t mine. I was shocked that he reached between my legs to pick the tag up, but he clearly wasn’t American and spoke limited English. He asked me if the tag was mine and when I said it wasn’t, he reached BACK between my legs to place it back on the floor. I was shocked again, about two stops away from my destination, and burning with anger and shame. I stayed silent, just trying to get home without causing a scene, and I think that made him think his actions were acceptable, that American women were tolerant of these kinds of things.

The worst part came next: as he continued to sit next to me, and I continued to stew silently trying to figure out what to do, he started rubbing his erect penis through his pants. Again, I was shocked into silence, and I think he knew that he (literally) had me cornered. When my stop arrived and I had to get past him to exit the train, he stood but refused to get out of the way so that I would have to rub against him to get past him. I yelled at him at that point, demanding that he get out of the way, but even when he stepped into the aisle he positioned himself so that we touched. He then stared at me, still rubbing himself, while I got off the train. I was humiliated and angry at myself that I didn’t say something more, that I didn’t stop him from reaching between my legs or call him out on his completely inappropriate behavior. But I didn’t. I only realized later what I should have done. I’ll never let that happen again.

Submitted on 12/3/12 by “EBD”

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:
Please consider reporting to Metro Transit Police: www.wmata.com/harassment; 202-962-2121.

“You shouldn’t talk that way to women on the street!”

Location: 23rd & I, NW DC
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

I was walking up 23rd street approaching I st, outside the JBKO GW dorm and was passing by two young men. It was summer and I was in short shorts. One of them said something along the lines of, “Damn miss, if you don’t got a man, let me know!” I gave him a disgusted look and he said, “I was only joking!” I said, “You shouldn’t talk that way to women on the street.” He didn’t say anything else and I kept walking, fuming. I’m pretty proud of how I handled it.

Submitted on 7/18/12 by “Anonymous”

If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system:
Please consider reporting to Metro Transit Police: www.wmata.com/harassment; 202-962-2121.

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.

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