What Happened at Town Hall

My 2016 started in a shocking, horrible way.

My friends and I planned to spend New Year’s Eve out together. We wanted to celebrate out and have a good time where we could catch up, drink a little, and be safe. One friend came across the event at Town Hall in Georgetown. There were reduced-priced tickets for groups, and it seemed like an amazing idea. I saw friends who I hadn’t seen in months RSVP and it just made me all the more excited for the night.

Our group found an awesome spot upstairs by the pool table. There were two couches and a table, perfect for our group. Lara  and I got our first drinks and then got food. We walked around, chatted with our friends, flirted with guys, and waited for the ball to drop.  

Lara* and I work at a winery on the weekends. We are used to our evenings ending with glasses of wine and frivolity of the best kinds. We indulge, but not to excess because we have to deal with drunks at our job and we don’t want to put that strain on others like it is on us at the winery. I stuck to gin and soda with extra lime for the night, she went with gin and tonics before moving to martinis.  

The ball dropped, we celebrated. The bubbly was too sweet for me so I only had one sip. I remember getting another drink, my fourth for the night, and sitting on one of the couches while talking and taking photos with friends.

This next part is where it gets fuzzy.

I had another drink. I sat on a bar stool at a table to watch my friends play pool.

There is a flash of being on the ground and my name being called.

There is a flash of me crying through clenched teeth as an IV is put into my arm because I have a very, very serious phobia of hypodermic needles.  

There is a flash of movement.

And then I wake up and my parents are standing in the bright white hallway in the hospital.  

Lara, Michelle, and Rob tell me the rest in the hospital waiting room. They tell me how I fell off the bar stool and threw up. How I wasn’t responding to them at all. How when Michelle tried to get Town Hall to call an ambulance, they wouldn’t. That when she started to call herself, the Town Hall staff tried to take her phone out of her hands. And when Lara kept telling the EMS first responder that I had been drugged, no one would take her seriously.

Looking at my phone I see texts and pictures that I have no memory of sending or taking.

I know my limits and tolerance. I know my warning signs for needing to switch to water. But when it is NYE, all other people see is another idiot who didn’t know how to handle their drinks. Five watered-down gin and sodas over five hours would not make me black-out drunk.  

But we’ll never know for certain. I was never given a tox screen. I was was lucky though. I had friends with me who knew there was a problem right away and damn anyone keeping them from getting proper help.  

For a few days, I kept what happened just with my close friends. But then I realized somethingI was a victim and I am not at fault.  

It is the fault of those who put something into my drink. It is the fault of those who saw me as just another drunk. It is the fault of those who didn’t want to help my friends. It is the fault of the culture we live in that will blame a victim.

My name is Devorah Litt, and my drink was drugged at Town Hall in Georgetown on New Year’s Eve.  

*All names have been changed except mine.

 

Editor’s Note: This post is not authored or endorsed by CASS, nor are any personal posts on CASS’s website. In response to this post, Town Hall contacted CASS with the results of their own internal investigation into this incident, which included obtaining the 911 call and MPD reports. The 911 call was made by a member of Town Hall’s staff.

“A Man Indecently Exposed Himself to My Young Child”

Location: K St NW, DC (the Georgetown Waterfront)
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

A man indecently exposed himself to my young child and me in the green space by the Potomac River close to the intersection of K St and Potomac Street. I reported it to the police, but they did not seem very interested.

Submitted 12/26/14 by “SAB.”

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).

“Baby, don’t you want to dance for me?”

posted in: Georgetown, WMATA | 5
“I always think of the bus driver as the person who might actually prevent someone from saying something like that. Instead, it was the person who was supposed to keep an eye out for that who was harrassing me.” Photo credit: Cary Grant

Location: Bus stop 38B; M & 33rd St
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

I had met some friends for a drink in Georgetown and was waiting for the bus, thinking that that was safer than walking over to Rosslyn to catch the metro. I was a bit wary of late night bus riding, but figured it was a short trip. After I swiped my metro card, the bus driver said “Baby, don’t you want to dance for me?” I was very clearly not drunk. Maybe he expected me to be. Either way, I always think of the bus driver as the person who might actually prevent someone from saying something like that. Instead, it was the person who was supposed to keep an eye out for that who was harrassing me

Submitted on 7/13/12 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, on Twitter at @WMATAharassment, or 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.

“Hey, that hurt!”

I was running on M street with a friend. A man was walking past us and had plenty of room on his side of the sidewalk, but as he was walking by, he punched me in the arm, hard. He didn’t say anything after I said “Hey, that hurt!” – just kept walking. It was really unnerving, and it hurt a lot.

Submitted by Laura B

Location: Wisconsin Ave & M. St., NW

Time of harassment:  Morning Rush Hour (5A-9:30A)

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

“f*** off “

I went to see the damage done to the Washington Harbour building done by the flooding. I was leaning over the wooden fence that they placed at the steps going down to the fountain, surveying the damage done to some of my favorite bars, when I heard a very loud voice make some sort of sound.

I don’t really know what it was supposed to be, some sort of high-pitched “uh-huh” expressing approval. I turned around and saw two tall, males in business casual wear (I assume they work there) snickering to themselves about twenty feet away while looking at me. I ignored them and turned back around. Then I hear “smoke!” shouted very loudly in the same voice. I was concerned there was a fire momentarily, but the same two guys were snickering and looking at me again. I was getting annoyed so I started walking away (unfortunately I had to go past these two losers) and when I passed them, the shorter one shouted “ding!” at me (like he hit the jackpot or something). I told him to f*** off but they just laughed again.

I really don’t get how these code words are supposed to work. Obviously I know I’m being harassed when you yell at me.

Submitted by JN

Location: Washington Harbour

Time of harassment: Day Time (9:30A-3:30P)

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

1 2 3 4 7