Woman Speaks After Violent Attack in Bloomingdale

We’re shaken to read about this violent attack late last month in Bloomingdale. Please stay safe, DC. If you experience sexual harassment or assault, consider reaching out to the DCRCC – Powering A Culture of Consent hotline to access support at (202) 333-7273.

The story, as reported by NBC Washington:

A woman walking down a street in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of D.C. was pushed down a lower-level stairway before Christmas by a man who threatened to kill her and tried to rip off her shirt.

 

The victim of the violent attack on the 100 block of Seaton Place NW told News4 she wants her neighbors to be aware of the dangerous man at large.

 

“I want people to know that there is an attacker out there,” she said, asking that her name be withheld.

 

About to start her Christmas vacation, the Bloomingdale resident of several years was walking east from the Shaw-Howard University Metro station after 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22 when a man called out to her.

 

“I heard somebody give a catcall. I didn’t even turn around and look at it,” she said.

 

Suddenly, just a block from her front door, a man grabbed her from behind. He dragged her off the sidewalk and tried to force her beneath the front porch of a house.

 

“I started to scream and yell, hoping somebody in the house would hear me, at which point he put me in a chokehold and said he had a gun and that he would kill me,” the victim said.

 

Fearing for her life, she complied with the attacker’s demands.

 

“What do you want? You have my purse, you have my coat. What do you want from me?” she recalled.

 

“And he said, ‘I want you.’ And he reached for my shirt, to unbutton or rip off my shirt,” she said.

 

Just then, another woman walked past.

 

“I started to yell and fight again, and he was fighting with me, I think until he realized there was a person right there that I was yelling to,” she said.

 

The woman who came to her aid also started to scream, and called police.

 

The suspect ran away with the Bloomingdale resident’s credit cards, cash and the keys to her home.

 

“Two patrolmen were there within minutes, before the lady who passed by was even off of her cellphone,” the victim said. “They attempted to pursue him.”

 

The Bloomingdale resident — who told the neighborhood blog PoPville she escaped with scrapes and bruises — never got the name of the good Samaritan but said she would like to thank her.

 

“If she hears this, I would certainly like to give her a huge thank-you,” she said. “She potentially saved my life.”

 

Police described the suspect as a black man with a dark complexion and average to thin build, who stands about 6-foot. He was last seen wearing black pants, black boots and a hood. He is wanted for robbery and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

 

Anyone with information that may help police is asked to call 202-727-9099. Information also can be provided by sending a text message to 50411.

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).

Dupont Circle Panera Fails to Take Sexual Harassment Seriously!

Location: DuPont Circle Panera (1350 Connecticut Ave NW)
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

I was studying downstairs at the Panera in Dupont Circle when I looked to my right and a man had his pants fully down and was masturbating in my direction. I screamed and ran upstairs to get a manager. The man walked past me and the manager on the stairs and I pointed him out. The manager asked if I wanted a cookie or anything. I told him I wanted him to call the police. He asked which seat the man was in so he could clean it off. I was crying and shaking and not sure what to do, so I left the Panera. Later I had composed myself and decided I wanted to report it. I called the police, who came to the Panera and told me they couldn’t file an official report if the man was gone. They also told me I should have called them right away so they had a chance of finding the guy, and that I should have captured what he was doing in a photo or video so they could have evidence against him. I tried to contact Panera about training their employees to respond to such incidents and didn’t get a response – but they did quickly delete my yelp review when I described what happened on the site. I haven’t been back to the Panera.

Submitted 8/4/14 by Anonymous.

TAKE ACTION! Take to Twitter to tell @panerabread that it needs to improve its response to public sexual harassment of customers!

Copy/paste: “Hey @panerabread: This story is not OK! What are you doing to take sexual harassment seriously? www.bit.ly/paneraSH #endSH @safespacesDC”

Take a stand against public sexual harassment and assault: Donate now.


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).

BREAKING: DC Council Passes Landmark Sexual Assault Reforms With Final Vote

DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DC JSC)

May 6, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Renee Davidson
DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DC JSC)
renee@collectiveactiondc.org 

Landmark Legislation to Protect Survivors of Sexual Assault Passes Final Vote
Success Comes After Year of Grassroots Organizing

Washington, D.C. — The DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DC JSC) is elated that today DC Council cast the final of two votes to pass the Sexual Assault Victims’ Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (SAVRAA), landmark legislation to improve how the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) manages sexual assault cases and treats survivors of sexual assault.

The passage of the Sexual Assault Victims’ Rights Amendment Act comes over a year after the DC JSC, a survivor-led grassroots coalition, was established in response to evidence of police mismanagement of sexual assault cases in the District. The pivotal legislation, called SAVRAA, includes all criteria for which the DC JSC mobilized support, including: 1) Granting sexual assault survivors the right to have a sexual assault victim advocate present during hospital forensic exams and in subsequent in-person police interviews; 2) Mandating the prompt processing of rape kits; 3) Providing sexual assault survivors the right to the results of their rape kits and toxicology tests; 4) Mandating that an independent consultant make semi-annual public reports on progress that MPD makes in implementing reforms; 5) Codifying DC’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and requires it to conduct case review; 6) Requiring an annual report on sexual assault from agencies that handle cases and evidence; 7) Establishing a task force to recommend further reform to the system, including additional roles for advocates, an effective system for complaints and juvenile sexual assault system reforms.

The long-awaited passage of SAVRAA is a monumental step both in supporting survivors of sexual assault and improving DC’s sexual assault response system. “This legislation means that those who report sexual assault in the District can expect that their cases will be followed through as efficiently as possible, and that they will be treated with fairness and respect,” said Sherelle Hessell-Gordon, DC JSC organizer and Executive Director of the DC Rape Crisis Center. “This was a survivor-driven advocacy effort, and we thank the brave men and women who testified and shared their stories in order to achieve today’s success,” added DC JSC organizer Marisa Ferri.

The Sexual Assault Victims’ Rights Amendment Act will now be passed onto the Mayor to be signed into law.

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Formed by Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS), the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) and National Organization for Women, DC Chapter (DC NOW), the DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DC JSC) is a grassroots coalition of sexual assault survivors, direct service providers, advocacy organizations, allies and community members working to increase and codify the rights of and improve services for survivors of sexual assault in the District of Columbia.

Thank You, CASS Community!

Happy National Volunteer Week!

As you know, CASS is volunteer-run nonprofit. This week, we send an especially HUGE thanks to the DC community members that volunteer their time to make our work possible! This includes the over 400 community members that signed onto join the DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DC JSC), which yesterday succeeded in helping pass landmark sexual assault reforms in DC.

We’re so proud! Thank you to all the volunteers that support us. We couldn’t do this work without you!

BREAKING: DC Council Passes Landmark Sexual Assault Reforms

DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DC JSC)

April 8, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Renee Davidson
DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DC JSC)
renee@collectiveactiondc.org

DC Council Passes Landmark Sexual Assault Reforms
Grassroots Survivors’ Group Celebrates Success After Year of Mobilizing

Washington, D.C. — The DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DC JSC) is elated that today DC Council took the first of two votes to pass the Sexual Assault Victims’ Rights Amendment Act of 2013 (SAVRAA), landmark legislation to improve how the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) handles sexual assault cases and treat survivors of sexual assault.

“This is a monumental step in both supporting survivors of sexual assault and improving DC’s sexual assault response system,” said Julia Strange, DC JSC organizer and Director of Programs and Policy for Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS). “This legislation means that those who report sexual assault in the District can expect that their cases will be followed through as efficiently as possible, and that they will be treated with fairness and respect,” added Sherelle Hessell-Gordon, DC JSC organizer and Executive Director of the DC Rape Crisis Center.

The final version of the bill passed by DC Council includes all criteria for which the DC JSC mobilized support. In full, the legislation: 1) Grants sexual assault survivors the right to have a sexual assault victim advocate present during hospital forensic exams and in subsequent in-person police interviews; 2) Mandates the prompt processing of rape kits; 3) Provides sexual assault survivors the right to the results of their rape kits and toxicology tests; 4) Mandates that an independent consultant make semi-annual public reports on progress that MPD makes in implementing reforms; 5) Codifies DC’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and requires it to conduct case review; 6) Requires an annual report on sexual assault from agencies that handle cases and evidence; 7) Establishes a task force to recommend further reform to the system, including additional roles for advocates, an effective system for complaints and juvenile sexual assault system reforms.

The DC JSC, a survivor-led grassroots coalition, has been working for over a year not to only to pass, but also to strengthen SAVRAA. The coalition, formed by Collective Action for Safe Spaces, (CASS), the DC Rape Crisis Centerand DC NOW, was established in response to evidence of police mismanagement of sexual assault cases in the District. The DC JSC is comprised of 23 organizations and over 400 individual community members. Over the past months, DC JSC members consulted with policy experts, collected hundreds of signatures in support of SAVRRA’s urgently-needed reforms, met with DC Councilmembers and testified at the December 2013 DC Council Hearing on the legislation, including sharing heart wrenching stories of their experiences of reporting sexual assault to MPD.

“Passing legislation that codifies the rights of survivors of sexual assault sends a powerful message to survivors that our community leaders care about their rights and are working to protect them,” said Susan Mottet, DC JSC organizer and President of the National Organization for Women, DC Chapter (DC NOW). “This bill was a survivor-driven advocacy effort, and we thank the brave men and women who testified and shared their stories,” said DC JSC organizer Marisa Ferri. “We’re encouraged that the passage of SAVRAA, especially along with DC JSC’s amendments, will help ensure that survivors who report their assault can begin the process of healing and obtaining justice.”

The Sexual Assault Victims’ Rights Amendment Act will be voted on again and then passed onto the Mayor to be signed into law.

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Formed by Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS), the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) and National Organization for Women, DC Chapter (DC NOW), the DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DC JSC) is a grassroots coalition of sexual assault survivors, direct service providers, advocacy organizations, allies and community members working to increase and codify the rights of and improve services for survivors of sexual assault in the District of Columbia.
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