“I Was Upskirted on the DC Metro”

Location: Smithsonian Metro Stop
Time: Morning Rush Hour (5am-9:30am)

I was in one of the last cars on the metro and was one of the last people to leave the station this morning. The other person was a man — mid-40s, dark hair, wearing a suit. He wasn’t close enough for me to get a better description and was staring at his smartphone as I passed through the gates. On the escalator, I thought a breeze was lifting the back of my skirt, but it was that guy behind me lifting it as he walked past.

I wish my reaction was something more than a resigned, “oh well, it happens.” I’m very aware of my surroundings (especially after past incidences), and it felt like not being hyper-vigilant for 10 seconds is how this happened.

Submitted 10/14/14 by “A.”

CASS is launching RightRides, a service to provide free rides home for women and LGBT people, from 12am-3am on Friday, October 31st. Rides, which are made possible by a partnership with Zipcar, will be operated by driver/navigator teams consisting of trained, screened volunteers. Save the number in your phone now: 202-556-4232!

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).

Gropey Groperson

I am a guy and I honestly have never had to think about being sexually harassed before, as smug as that sounds. On 9/3 at Jazz in the Garden, I had just gotten a pitcher of beer and I was chatting it up with my girlfriend and her friend at the Pavilion Café. All three of us were standing, and we were situated between the cash register and the condiments station- basically in plain sight. What happened next was totally unexpected to say the least.

A large (and presumably intoxicated) woman and her friend had just finished eating, and were passing by the three of us on the way to the revolving doors. As the woman passed me, she nonchalantly extended her hand and groped my crotch. Mind you, this wasn’t a tap or an accidental graze–this was a deliberate 2-3 second “plant and clamp” with a bowling ball grip… and it wasn’t gentle to say the least. As her hand was approaching my genital region, my first thought was “oh no, I think my fly is down and she’s going to call me out on it”. It took me a few seconds to comprehend what happened, and as i turned around to see who the perp was, was just laughed and walked away as if no foul was committed.

What irked me the most was not the groping itself (which, as I stated before, was quite rough), but it was the fact that no one seemed to care. Not only did Gropey Groperson and her friend walk away, but being that this was in plain sight, at least two other people saw what happened and just looked at me as if to say, “dang…”. If I was a female, I’m sure the response would have been different.

It would be a lie for me to say that I’m emotionally scarred, or scared that it will happen again. I simply wanted to point out that this stuff happens to men too. Stay strong and vigilant, my brothers.

Submitted by Anand on 9/4/2010

Location: Jazz in the Garden

Time of Harassment: Night (7:30P-12A)

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.

Firefighters

This was a few months ago–my husband (then my fiance) and I had just finished a birthday dinner at Fogo de Chao on Pennsylvania Ave NW. I was wearing a black sleeveless dress that came just above my knees with black ankle boots with a heel–my outfit was classy with a little trendy flair, I thought. We exited the restaurant and walked across the side street so that he could go to the ATM for cab fare. I stood outside the little room the ATM was in for a few reasons- I felt pretty safe doing so, it was really nice out, and the main reason, it also smelled extraordinarily bad in the vestibule. I figured I would keep an eye out for a cab as well.

As I was looking down the street at oncoming traffic, a fire engine drove by. It was not on its way to an emergency, as its lights and siren weren’t on and they were driving at a somewhat slow speed. However, they honked their loud siren at me and started cheering out of the window. This was of course just as my fiance was walking out of the ATM. He was offended that men in uniform would do that.

Submitted by Jen on 5/13/2010

Location: Pennsylvania Ave @ Fogo de Chao

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


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