This month, a new series of anti-harassment PSAs launched on the Metro and Metrobus system. The project is a collaboration between Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS), Stop Street Harassment, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
Now, more than ever, our work to build safe public spaces is critical. Within the past few weeks, we’ve seen a spike in reports of harassment across our city — especially targeting people of color, LGBTQ and gender nonconforming people, and people who are part of multiple marginalized groups. Harassers take advantage of trains and buses as environments where their targets can’t easily escape, making public transit an important space to address the problem.
The new awareness campaign has three goals:
- Support people who experience harassment with messages letting riders know they deserve to be treated with respect.
- Promote a culture of bystander intervention, where everyone is responsible for speaking out against harassment and making public transit safer.
- Elevate our city’s most marginalized identities by featuring the faces of people who are part of marginalized groups, such as trans women of color and Muslim women, who face harassment most severely and most frequently.
In addition to training for WMATA’s frontline staff and supervisors, this anti-harassment campaign helps to create a culture of safety and community accountability.
We have a long way to go to ensuring public spaces are safe for *everyone,* but we remain committed to empowering the DC community to speak out against harassment and create public spaces where everyone feels respected and safe.