“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).

“I Was Followed and Harassed While Busing Home from Work”

Location: ART 43 bus stop at Wilson Blvd & N Fort Myer Dr (Rosslyn, Virginia)
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)

This happened back in August of 2014. It was 90+ degrees outside and there was a steady breeze. I had on a vintage 50’s style sundress. I got the chance to escape work a few minutes early and took it; I got to the bus stop for the ART 43 from Rosslyn to Crystal City and was about 15 minutes early for the 3:27 bus. This bus stop is not with the rest of the bus stops at the Rosslyn metro, but on the other-side of the station at a isolated corner next to the Dumpster for the Hyatt Arlington. Usually when I get there there are two or three office type people and two ladies who clean for the hotel waiting for the bus. That day there was no one.

I was just standing there looking at the windows of the office building across the street. The wind gusted and my skirt lifted up. I stepped in to a fire escape doorway that’s there so I don’t have to hold my skirt down from the wind, when this middle-aged guy who looked like a kitchen worker at the hotel pops up out of nowhere and says I look pretty. I could tell he spoke very little English and smiled and said Gracias. He smiled back and I started poking at my cell phone.

He moved to trap me in the doorway, then he asked me if I “like a date.” I said “no,” and tried to move past him, but he blocked me and then he reached out to pet my hair. I flinched, his movements were threatening and I thought he was going to hit me. Then he asked if was was married. I wear a few rings and moved one over to my ring finger and showed it and said yes and used that moment to squeeze past him.

Luckily the bus was pulling up and I jumped on… Then he got on too. There was a few other people on the bus, and I sat as near to the bus driver has I could and took up the seat next to me with my bag. I got off the bus at Crystal City, he also got off the bus I was little freaked out now, and looked to see if there was a metro employee around to stand by while I waited for the 23 bus, but no one was around. As I neared the bus stop for the 23, a little old man came running out of the door of the building across the street waving a rolled up Express paper and hit the guy following me up-side the head and starts yelling at him in Spanish, from the little Spanish I know I know they were not nice things.

The creep who had been following me took off for the Metro station at full speed to get away form the old man. The old man turned to me and said, “He will not bother you any more,” I asked what do you mean, and he told me that that guy was, “Muy malo”(very bad) he does things to ladies. And that if he even talked to me, “his family in El Salvador would pay.”

The 23 Metro bus pulled up, and I got on. I don’t know who freaked me out more — the creep who had followed me or the old man. I have seen both of the men on the bus or around my neighborhood. The old man watches me whenever I go to the Laundry mat, not one of the guys in there will go near me (this actually makes me feel safe), and I think that is his intention. The other guy is a regular on the 43 now but won’t even look in my direction now.

Submitted 1/02/14 by “Bunny.”

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 can’t hear you.

posted in: Rosslyn | 1
Photo by Washington DC Metro via Flickr

I got on the 4B at Rosslyn metro and there was this young man sitting in the front selling body spray. The man he was talking to didn’t want to buy anything from him, so he changed seats. In the middle of the ride, he tapped me on the shoulders and ask me a question. I pointed to my ears and mouth “I can’t hear you”. He came up to me and spoke loudly which I had to turn and show him my hearing aid.

He then proceeded to do some form of sign language and body movement by asking me if I want body spray. I told him “no thank you”. He then ask me for money. He asked me for I think it was 10 dollars. I told him again “no thank you”.

That should be the end of it right? WRONG

As I was almost to my destination, he sat by me and brought his
notebook. He had written “do you want to make a $2.00 donation to my 6-8 weeks training program?”. I told him I did not have any cash and got off at my stop.

Submitted by Sophia

Location: Rosslyn

Time of harassment: Evening rush hour (3:30P-7:30P)

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.

Harassed by a Circulator Driver

I was not expecting the bus driver to holla at me. At about 5:40 PM, I boarded the Circulator (1139) at Rosslyn, which was heading towards Dupont Circle. I’m one out of many in a long line waiting to board the bus. Why did the driver feel the need to single me out to say “Sista, you are SO beautiful!” while leering at me?! It didn’t make me feel beautiful, it made me feel embarrassed and defensive.

I put my hand up and said “Don’t talk to me like that. You worry about driving the bus.” He says “Okay!” in a defensive tone. With everyone else who boarded he acted professionally, gave them directions, etc., but he had to make commentary on my appearance.

When the bus got to Dupont, I walk to the front to snap his photo. He was too distracted giving directions to tourists to pay attention to me taking his photo. It was a good thing, since it saved me the trouble of a major confrontation.

These men need to stop using their jobs as ways to hit on and/or pick up women. If these men gave a damn about their jobs, they wouldn’t do this. As a bus driver, his only concern should be driving the bus, and as a passenger, my only concern should be getting where I want to be, not dealing with leering bus drivers.

Submitted by Anonymous

Location: Circulator bus at Rosslyn Metro Station bus stop

Time of harassment: 5:40 PM

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.

“Beautiful Sista”

posted in: Rosslyn | 2

I cut my hair short this summer and was too “masculine-looking” (society’s view, not mine) to be harassed by men on the street, but now my hair’s grown out to an “acceptable feminine length” (see previous thought) making me noticeable for “compliments” from men on the street again.

As I left work yesterday and walked to the bus stop, a man begging for change referred to me as “beautiful sista” and “sexy woman.” I did not see him go out of his way to refer to non-black women or any men in this manner.

Something similar happens when I get to Rosslyn. A man was passing out flyers and he’s calling me “beautiful sista.” Though I was not interested in a flyer he walks over to where I was waiting for my connecting bus and asks again. “If I wanted one I would’ve taken one when you were standing over there,” I said, pointing to where he previously was.

“Well maybe you changed your mind,” he says, and walks away.

Some people don’t consider this harassment, and some women wouldn’t mind being called “beautiful,” but I feel compliments like that are too personal coming from men I don’t know. I’d rather it come from a significant other, not some random Joe. I just want to get from one point to another without strange men old enough to be my father hitting on me. I also don’t like how I’m singled out by men who think being the same race as I am gives them the right to talk to me as if I’m “their woman” or something. It’s irritating and I wish it’d stop.

Submitted By Anonymous

Location: M Street & Wisconsin Avenue (DC); Rosslyn Metro (VA)

Time:Evening Rush Hour (3:30P-7:30P)

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