Harassed by Metro Employees

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Location: Metro Center (from the red line platform in the direction of Shady Grove and continuing to the lower platform in the direction of Vienna)
Time:  Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

On Wednesday, August 10th at right around 3 PM, I was transferring from the red to orange line at Metro Center when I heard someone behind me on the red-line platform comment “you got a bootie on you, don’t you!” and then when I didn’t respond he got closer and louder to repeat himself. I turned and saw two men in what looked like may have been metro maintenance worker uniforms. I said to the one who made the comment “are you kidding me, you work for metro? are you trying to get yourself fired?” He and his buddy laughed at me and started commenting that “they don’t work for nobody” and they can say whatever they want to me. I continued yelling at them, and quit listening to what they were saying at that point — I was too angry because they were so proud and laughing and joking together about making me uncomfortable. I hung back a second while they went down the escalator to the lower platform so that I could take out my phone to take pictures of my harasser. When he saw me taking his picture, he laughed and said something like “oh you want my picture” and turned and posed for me. I told him I was reporting him and he laughed me off. The train came and we got on separate cars. I got off at McPherson, and thankfully he stayed on. The pictures aren’t great, but I’ll share them if they are in any way helpful.

Submitted 8/11/16 by “JG”

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 Was Groped on Metro & Didn’t Report to Police. Did I Do the Right Thing?”

Location: Escalators at Metro Center Metro Station
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

My ass was grabbed—hard—on a metro escalator as I was walking up on the left. When I turned around to see who it was, there was a group of 3-4 teen boys giggling about it. Two grown men were ahead of me on the escalator and LAUGHED when I asked the boys “Did you just grab my ass? Which one of you did that?” I was more upset that grown men didn’t intervene or say something to the boys than I was at the boys. When we got to the top of the escalator, there were a few metro cops standing right there, but I didn’t bring them into it because I didn’t want to ruin the teens lives with charges on their records especially since I didn’t know which one did it. They shot me looks of gratitude as we all walked by the police to our connecting train and the two grown men also looked shocked that I didn’t say anything to the police. Did I do the right thing?

Submitted 8/13/14 by “LD.”

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).

“How A Bystander Intervened To Help Me Avoid Street Harassment”

Location: 12th and F St. NW (Metro Center)
Time:
 Late Night (12am-5am)

I have lived in this beautiful, vibrant city for nearly 6 years now, and almost every single day, I find a new reason to be thankful for how exciting, convenient, and adventurous it still is to me. Today was one of those rare but necessary days which reminded me that I don’t live in such a cozy, happy bubble.

After work this evening, I attended a leadership training near the Archives (7th and D-ish) until about 8:30pm, at which point there was still plenty of light out that I felt comfortable walking the 20-ish blocks back home. My phone’s battery life was at about 25%, so I kept it in my bag to enjoy the natural sounds of the city around me. It wasn’t until about 8th and F that I noticed him, aimlessly walking about 20 feet behind me, innocently eating something out of a bowl. I paid him no mind and continued walking at a normal pace.


What about me made me a target tonight? Was it because I’m a woman? Because I’m brown? Because I was wearing a pencil skirt?


As I stood at the corner of 10th and F, waiting for the walk signal, he stood directly behind me. I could hear him breathing. Rather than wait 42 seconds, I changed directions and walked up the street to the Forever 21, meanwhile pulling out my phone and calling my dad (best friend forever). I stayed on the phone with my dad for about 15 minutes as I walked around the store, upstairs then downstairs (buying nothing – shocking!), eventually feeling comfortable enough to leave (and because the store was closing), but through a different entrance than the one I had walked in through. I went outside, the sun had almost set, I was exhausted and drained from a long day, so I tried to find a cab – but of course there were none were in sight.

As I turned the corner, I heard him. “Hey girl.” (This was NO Ryan Gosling, for the record.) I froze. He was standing about 20 feet in front of me. “Hey girl, I’m talkin to you. What did you buy in there?” he said as he moved closer. I immediately turned around and took off, pulling my phone out again and calling a friend (I love you Roma!). As I calmly power-walked my way along, looking for people – any people, his calling became increasingly inappropriate, going off about my body, my walk, even my scent. He followed me. On the phone, Roma guided me towards the nearest Metro station (Metro Center) as my nerves had completely taken over my sense of direction. I eventually made it the two blocks over to the Metro (thank you God for giving me walk signals), and seeing a crowded escalator, I hurried down the stairs instead. He was still calling after me.

Over my shoulder, I watched as an older, suited gentleman intervened. He stood at the top of the stairs and held his newspaper in front of him, firmly blocking my pursuer from following me down the stairs. “Hey. Back off,” was all he needed to say. I didn’t hear the rest of the exchange as I bolted for my platform, hoping to get lost in the tiny sea of people. Seven minutes until my train. I crouched down, trying to catch my breath and praying that the man didn’t have enough change to make it through the turnstiles. My phone was down to 8% battery. I felt anger, I felt frustration, I was upset that I couldn’t just walk home like a normal person in what I considered to be MY city. I wanted to kick something – actually, someone. Was it because I’m a woman? Because I’m brown? Because I’m short? Because I was wearing a pencil skirt? What about me made me a target tonight? Forget about me, though, and why do the terrible men that act in such a way have to exist!?

Lost in my thoughts, I barely noticed the gentleman approach me, standing a few feet away – a safe distance, in case I decided to breathe fire. He was probably mid- to late-30’s. “Are you okay?” he said. I looked up at his concerned eyes and nodded, feeling tears start to form. “I’m sorry you had to go through that. That guy’s a f***ing idiot.” I let out a laugh as he smiled and started to walk away. “Sir,” I called out to him. He turned, eyebrows raised. “Thank you.” He nodded. “Of course,” he said offhandedly, as if what he did so heroically (in my eyes, at least) was as routine as tying his shoe.

And just like that, my outlook changed. Suddenly, I felt grateful – grateful that I didn’t have my headphones in and that I was alert and aware enough to realize my surroundings. Grateful that I could find an exit strategy and get out of an unsafe situation. And most of all, grateful that there are strong, confident men out there who will stand up against what is wrong. These types of incidents may not happen to you, but they do happen every day to someone, somewhere.

To the beautiful, strong, confident women of the world – always be aware of your environment and never get too comfortable. You really never know when something might happen that causes you to react faster than you can think. As a memorable professor would say – “constant vigilance!” And to the gentlemen of the world, please don’t attack and harass women; protect them. Every female you encounter is someone’s mother, sister, daughter, aunt, niece, cousin – and she could be yours, so please treat her as such. And don’t be douchelords. Thank you.

Submitted 7/17/14 by “HKS.”

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 Deserve to Walk Down the Street & NOT Have A Stranger Grab My Ass.”

Location: 12th & F St NW (Metro Center)
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

I was approached by the perpetrator and asked for money. I said no and he waited to make the comment, “I thought you were with a black man.” He then followed me [and my partner] 2 blocks to the corner off 12th & F st NW. We stopped for a light and he ran his hand between my ass cheeks. He was confronted by my partner and ran across the street.

Submitted 2/17/14 by “Julia R.”

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).

“I Was Sexually Harassed on the Red Line”

“I Was Sexually Harassed on the Red Line”

Location: Red Line (between Metro Center & Chinatown)
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)

I was standing on the train. Two men sat down near where I was standing. The man closest to me started talking to me. This was around 6pm on a Friday, so the train car was decently crowded.

Man: Can I touch you?
Me: No.
Man: You got a number?
Me (ignores him)
Man (louder): You got a number?
Me: I’m not giving it to you. The man starts saying inappropriate things so I walked towards the door.
Man (yelling down the car): I LICK BUTT! I LICK BUTT! I LICK BUTT! HEY GIRL WITH THE CAMOUFLAGE PANTS! I LICK BUTT! etc.

The door couldn’t open quickly enough.

Submitted 2/6/14 by “NS.”

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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