CASS and our colleagues on the End Street Harassment Coalition, more than 20 local organizations, are working to pass the Street Harassment Prevention Act, introduced by DC Councilmember Nadeau. The bill will collect data on street harassment and make recommendations to curb this most pervasive form of violence.
If passed, the bill will ensure that all government employees are trained to recognize and respond to harassment.The original iteration of the bill defined street harassment as unwanted comments, gestures, or actions targeting someone because of their real or perceived gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation. But the past year’s local high-profile incidents of harassment at Shaw Library and Banneker Pool, and especially the fall’s spike in incidents of harassment on the basis of real or perceived racial, ethnic, and/or religious identity demonstrated that we must broaden the definition of street harassment, collect appropriate data to assess the ways that different communities experience harassment, and recommend holistic solutions to prevent harassment from escalating to more severe violence.
Sign up here to testify in support of the bill. And tell your Council members that with this year’s 62% increase in hate violence across the DC area, we need community-based solutions to address harassment now. Follow along and share the campaign on the hashtag #PassSHPA.