Public Masturbation on Metro: “This Behavior Needs to Stop!”

"This Behavior Needs to Stop"Location: Reston Metro Station (Silver Line), Reston, VA
Time: Morning Rush Hour (5:00am-9:30am)

This morning a man wearing a oversized green coat with hood sat in the seat across from me. He removed his stuff from his pants and masturbated.

I took a photo of this man and texted them to Metro transit police. They asked for the train car number (which is located on the outside of car). I got off the train at Ballston to provide them the information. I don’t know if he was caught, but please report these incidents to police and note your car number when getting on train.

This behavior needs to stop. We can stop it!

Submitted 3/1/15 by “Ama.”

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): 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).

Hallway Harassment

Photo by Andrew Michaels via Flickr

My company partners with another company that trains people to use their software. We provide our training room, they train people. The students (these are adult students, usually approximately 30+) are usually a mild annoyance – personal calls in our lobby while we are trying to work, wandering into secured spaces, etc, but generally are polite and leave us alone unless they are asking where the bathroom is, what restaurants are nearby, etc.

We were getting ready to have lunch one day and I walked to the kitchen with my tupperware to heat it up. Two students were standing in the hall. As I walked by (wearing jeans a plain black cotton shirt, showing nothing) and flip flops (it was casual Friday), one of the men said “mmmm you bring enough for two?” I turned around and looked at him. He looked me up and down and said “mmmmm” I rushed to the kitchen not sure what to do – I was at work! I get harassed on the street and in bars quite often, and I always stand up for myself – I will tell a guy he is gross, he is disrespectful, he needs to not touch me, I will call the police, etc- but at work, I didn’t know what to do. I can’t push him, or scream anything, because it’s my OFFICE.

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Reston, VA

I was walking to the bus stop at Wiehle Avenue and standing on the street corner about to cross. There was a young man about my age standing next to me and we both had headphones on.

Photo by <a href=
Photo by Robyn Gallagher

A big corporate van was turning onto the street in front of me and slowed to a crawl mid-traffic and started honking. I looked up to see an older man leering, catcalling and waving at me through the window. He actually slowed down during rush hour traffic while turning so he could try and get my attention! I’m sure I involuntarily made a face but then I looked down and tried to ignore it. Lasted for at least 30 seconds.

Guy next to me snorted and muttered “asshole” under his breath, at least.

Location: Reston, VA: Wiehle and Sunset Hills

Submitted by Anonymous on September 10, 2009

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