Help Shape a New National Survey on Stalking

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is in the process of redesigning a national survey on stalking. The questions, developed with input from an expert panel, need to be tested before they can be used in a survey, so the U.S. Census Bureau is seeking victims/survivors of stalking to participate in an interview between early September and mid-November to test the survey questions. The goals is to make sure these new questions are clear and easy for most people to understand once they are included in a national survey.

The BJS’s goal is to interview 30 survivors. Men and women are welcome to participate, as are persons ages 16 or older.

Interviews will be conducted in person and will take place at the U.S. Census Bureau Headquarters in Suitland, MD, or at a location convenient for the respondent in the DC, MD, and VA areas. Interviews may be conducted during the daytime, nighttime, and weekends. Interviews will last up to one hour and respondents will be given a $40 for their time and participation.

Contact Amber Henderson at (877) 471-5432 if you are interested or would like further information.

U.S. Census Bureau employees are sworn to protect confidentiality by Title 13 of the U.S. Code. People sworn to uphold Title 13 are legally required to maintain the confidentiality of your data. Every person with access to your data is sworn for life to protect your information and understands that the penalties (fines up to $250,000 and up to 5 years in prison) for violating this law are applicable for a lifetime.

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Are You a Gay or Bisexual Male in DC? Join SSH’s Focus Group on Street Harassment!

Reposted from Stop Street Harassment

stop street harassmentIf you live in the Washington, DC, area and are a gay or bisexual man, you’re invited to share your street harassment stories and experiences during a discussion group on Tuesday, July 23 from 7:30-8:30pm.

The discussion group is part of Stop Street Harassment‘s “Documenting Street Harassment in America” initiative that includes a 2,000 person, nationally representative survey and 10 discussion groups with different demographics across the country.

SSH Founder Holly Kearl is teaming up with Patrick Ryne McNeil, who researches the street harassment of gay and bisexual men, to conduct it with gay and bisexual men to hear about their unique experiences with sexual harassment and sexual violence in public places like streets, parks, buses, subways, stores, and restaurants.

The discussion group will be held on Tuesday, July 23, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Lamond Riggs library by Fort Totten Metro Station. Light refreshments will be provided.

Holly will tape record and then transcribe the focus group discussion, but to make it a safe space for participants to share their stories, they can have their names be anonymous if they would like.

Read more about the study. SSH hopes to complete the rest of the focus groups this summer, conduct the survey in the fall, and release a report in early 2014. Read an article about one of the focus groups Holly conducted in South Dakota last summer.

You can contact Holly directly with any questions or concerns at or contact Patrick at

More info about harassment of gay & bisexual men
Washington Blade | Huffington Post


Accounting for Women

Photo by Poldavo (Alex) via flickr

Surprise! Women often feel unsafe while taking public transportation and even change their routes to avoid the spaces they fear.

In her latest study, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris looks at what women fear the most when taking public transportation, what women need, and what innovative solutions are out there.

In 2006, Loukaitou-Sideris and team did a survey of all transit agencies throughout the U.S. that had more than 50 public transportation vehicles. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed were men. (Maybe it’s time the transit agencies hired more women.)  She then interviewed women about their fears when it comes to public transportation. What she found was that there are some major mismatches between what the transit authorities are doing and what women need.  What’s even  more disturbing, is that the study  found two-thirds of survey respondents from the transit agencies believed women travelers have specific, needs but only one-third felt that agencies should address those needs. So it’s not surprising that only three percent of agencies even had programs specifically for women.

Women’s Concerns about Riding Public Transportation

In her interviews with women, Loukaitou-Sideris found that:
-Women are much more scared waiting at the bus stop or transit station then the enclosed spaces of the vehicle and that fear increases when it gets dark and when the parking lots or bus stations are dimly lit
-Women do not feel comfortable when there is a camera (the reports states women said that having a camera does not make them feel like a crime will be prevented and will only help after an incident. Many women seemed much more in favor of having more staff and police around).
-Women feel less safe when there is an “absence of visible staff and other passengers” and are very fearful of empty transit vehicles and/or transit vehicles with only one other passenger.

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