Bouncer Steps in at Nellie’s.

Location: 9th & U in front of Nellie’s
Time: Late Night (12am-5am)

I was on 9th St NW and stopped in front of Nellie’s to call a car. A man exited Nellie’s and bumped into me, knocking me off my balance. I told him assertively not to touch me and he became angry, he yelled ‘don’t touch me’ back at me and walked a few feet away to his group of friends. I then heard him loudly comment to them that I “looked like a fucking dyke.” I responded that I was queer but it was a slur for him to address me that way. At that moment, a bouncer stepped in and told him that he needed to leave and never come back to Nellie’s. He denied the whole incident and she reiterated that she had witnessed it and that he needed to leave. I thanked her and then left as my car arrived.

I want to specifically shout out the awesome bouncer who did not hesitate to step in and stand up for me against harassment. She didn’t question my account or ask us both to leave, she called out his behavior and told him in no uncertain terms that it was not acceptable in that space. She definitely made me feel safer in a moment when I was upset.

Submitted 7/11/17 by “KS”

Do you have a personal experience with 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 deserve to feel safe while going out.”

Location: Black Cat (14th and U Street NW DC)
Time: Late Night (12am-5am)

On Friday night, I went to the Black Cat for Lady Parts Justice’s Pro-choice Prom – the kind of amazing, progressive fundraising event that Black Cat is known to graciously host. That’s why what happened after the event, when my friends and I headed to the downstairs bar of the Black Cat, was so surprising. My friend and I were sitting at the bar when a group of men approached us.

One of the men started talking to us, but when I made it clear that I definitely wasn’t interested in him or his awful Richard Spencer haircut, he got more physically aggressive. He touched me and roughly grabbed my shoulder, and when I told him to get off of me, he turned to my friend and put his hand on her upper thigh. I pulled his hand off of my friend, which angered him. I told him that it’s not respectful to touch women you don’t know without their consent – he responded by pretending to apologize while forcefully grabbing my shoulder again.  The group surrounded me and my friends.  One of the men pulled up his hoodie and stood inches from me, trying to physically intimidate me.

At that point, I turned to the bartender and requested her assistance. I told her that I probably should have approached her sooner, but that this group of men was getting increasingly aggressive and we needed help. The bartender took it seriously at first, but then another member of the group came up to me, roughly grabbed my shoulder and pressed himself up against my back, and halfheartedly said, “Sorry.” I told the man to get away from me, but he wouldn’t. I looked to the bartender for help. She said something along the lines of that he was attempting to apologize, so there was nothing more she could do. As I recall, she also suggested that I was overreacting. Both she and the other bartender called the manager and refused to assist us any further.

Situations like this can be really confusing for a bartender – they really might not know how to handle it. All of the people involved in this incident had been drinking, including myself. However, my friend and I needed help, and these bartenders did not handle the situation appropriately. For the record, I was inebriated, but I feel like I was pretty calm and collected, and I definitely wasn’t overreacting (I think it’s pretty fair to not want a strange man wearing a smelly wrestling fanboy shirt touching you and breathing down your neck when you’re just trying to enjoy your Friday night).   

Unfortunately, the bartenders did not act appropriately in this situation. They allowed my friend and I to be harassed, and refused to remove the group from the bar. When the bar manager finally spoke with me, she agreed that the situation had not been handled appropriately and promised me that the group had been removed from the bar (they hadn’t) and the bar was being closed early. 

I’m calling out Black Cat for allowing this group of people to sexually harass and intimidate my friends and me. I deserve to feel safe while going out, and until this incident is addressed, I know that Black Cat, no matter how many progressive events they host, isn’t a safe place to be.

Submitted 7/11/17 by “JR”

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).

“He followed me to the front door of my office in broad daylight.”

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Time:  Morning Rush Hour (5am-9:30am)

I was sleepily walking to work on 14th Street around 8:45 in the morning before having a cup of coffee, when this man pushing a grocery cart started yelling at me from across the street: “Ma’am! Ma’am! You’re beautiful!” I ignored him, and focused my attention on getting to the office. I wasn’t awake enough to reply in any sort of snarky way.

That’s when it escalated. My lack of response clearly infuriated him and he kept yelling “Ma’am! Miss!” and ran across traffic with his grocery cart to come up to me. I started walking faster to my office building. At this point, I was afraid, hoping to beat him before he got to the front door–and to put in my pin code and have it shut before he reached me. He ran all the way up to the front door of my office, but thankfully the door locked behind me as he attempted to open the door after me. He was still aggressively yelling “you’re so beautiful! why won’t you talk to me? Do you think you’re too good for me?”

Shaken, I walked into my office on the fourth floor and looked out to see if he was still there. He continued to pace back and forth in front of my office for the next twenty minutes.

Thankfully, I have not seen him since. But the fact that he knows where I worked, and had the audacity to follow me all the way to the front door is absolutely terrifying.

Submitted 10/1/16 by “CSG”

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 directly told him ‘NO,’ but he wouldn’t go away.”

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Time: Late Night (12am-5am)

I was out at a bar and a man kept approaching me to dance, grabbing my hand three different times. Even though I directly told him ‘NO’ each time, he wouldn’t go away. It finally took my male friend telling him to leave for this guy to stop bothering me. This scenario–where guys repeatedly ignore what women say–occurs to me and my friends all the time and is absolutely infuriating. How about you stop thinking that you can change women’s minds and instead LISTEN and RESPECT what we say.

Submitted 8/15/16 by “EK”

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 not expecting a middle-aged couple to verbally abuse me

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Location: 17th & T Street NW (U Street)
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

I was walking home from a friend’s house and talking on the phone with my partner. As I was walking, I passed by a two men, who appeared to be a couple, walking their dogs together – specifically, finishing picking up their dogs’ poo on the sidewalk. I walked by them, thinking nothing of it, and a second later the invective hurtled at me: “You almost stepped in dog shit, you dumb bitch!” I turned around in shock — I was not expecting a middle-aged couple to verbally abuse me — and asked to their retreating backs, “Did you just call me a dumb bitch?” One of them turned around and said “Yeah I did, get off your fucking phone and pay attention.” The only thing I could think of to say was “That’s incredibly rude” to which I was told to “get a life.” I suppose part of the shock I felt at this harassment is that it wasn’t sexual at all, and though I suppose they could have been friends, the men appeared to be a couple doing a very routine activity. Just goes to show that street harassment takes many forms.

Submitted 8/15/16 by “Sarah H.”

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).

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