Share Your Story

Street harassment prevents individuals from feeling safe in their communities. Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault in Washington, DC? Submit your experience to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. 

  1. Submissions will be posted regularly in the order in which they were received.
  2. All submissions are posted anonymously or using the name or initials given.
  3. Please read our comment policy before posting.

Thank you for your contribution!

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. Recommended tip: Program MTP’s number into your phone so you can easily reach them when needed. WMATA’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy, implemented in Spring 2012, is a result of CASS’s campaign.

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).

Disclaimer: Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) is not responsible for the accuracy of individual postings. All views and positions expressed in posted submissions are those of individual contributors only. CASS moderates comments to ensure that this public forum continues to be a safe space for community dialogue. CASS may use any stories submitted to the blog in future CASS materials.

  •   DC
      VA
      MD
  •   Street
      Bar
      Metro***
      Bus/bus stop stop**
      Other*
  •   Morning Rush Hour (5am-9:30am)
      Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)
      Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)
      Night (7:30pm-12am)
      Late Night (12am-5am)

68 thoughts on “Share Your Story

  1. Pingback: in dc: ain’t no holla back girl | urban bohemian

  2. So I’m all dolled up for a joint birthday dinner date with the husband, but since I left my metro pass in the house and am slow moving in heels, the husband ran back to get it while I waited at the entrance for him.

    Not 30 seconds after he leaves, this random man walks up to me, and starts talking to me “You’re so pretty, that dress is beautiful…” I interrupt him with “Please, sir, I’m waiting for my husband and I’d like to do so in peace.” He keeps talking, I repeat my request. He asks to take my picture. I say absolutely not. He offers to PAY ME to take my picture. I’m now offended instead of just overly annoyed. “Um, no. What the hell would possess you to ask me that question? Who do you think I am to you?” I respond. Since my voice is raised, the metro operator comes out and asks ME why I’m giving the dude such a hard time.

    I don’t answer because by this time the harasser has slunk away, into the metro stop. The husband gets back and we end up on the same damn train car as the harasser. The dude starts apologizing to the husband… “I’m sorry, you’re so lucky, your wife is so beautiful, I couldn’t help myself….” blah, blah, blah. The husband, to his credit, says “You know the reason I’m so lucky? I know better than to speak to women that way. You owe her an apology, not me. I don’t own her.”

    The funny part was that the harasser at this point looked around the car for someone to aid in his defense and, finding everyone glaring at him like the tool he was, told the husband he was whipped and stormed off. Of course the husband would stand up for me, but it was nice to see the rest of the car supporting the both of us. Hopefully, they’ll stand up for the next woman.

  3. It sucks that I am able to list off incidents like this every few weeks.

    Recently, I was carrying a bunch of heavy bags early in the morning, heading down the hill to work. A few guys were hanging around a house – looked like they were doing some kind of work on it – and of course I veer into the road rather than walk past them. I didn’t notice that one dude was standing in the middle of the street. He was tall, had long dreadlocks, and was actually pretty handsome. But he was saying something to me, so I discreetly turned down the music in my earbuds long enough to hear something along the lines of “How you doin’” or “What’s up girl” . Sigh. I jack my music way up and resume speedwalking down the hill.

    What happened next I genuinely didn’t expect – he followed me literally ALL THE WAY to the intersection, which is 4-5 blocks. He followed me screaming and cursing obscenities, how dare I ignore him, bitch, and describing the things he would do to me. I was actually terrified and shaking, half breaking into a jog but still trying to pretend that I didn’t hear him through my headphones. I kept checking his reflection in my phone to see that he actually did follow me until I got to the semi-populated intersection. As soon as I saw him retreat, I called my mom and my husband.

    Ugh. I can never escape this shit. I work part time at a store, and am starting to dread when men come up to my register. I don’t even like interacting with them anymore. I get defensive and hateful.

  4. This story isn’t recent, but three years later I am still annoyed and disgusted thinking about it. I wish Hollaback had been around then, so I would have thought to get a photo of the jerk who verbally harassed me or in some way react to the guy rather than just letting it happen. I can’t go back, but I can at least share my story and think about how I’ll respond next time.

    In 2007, I worked for a big company in northwest Washington, DC. I lived in Arlington, Virginia and commuted every day by walking, through a pretty nice residential neighborhood to the metro.

    One morning, about 7:30 AM, I was taking my usual walk to the metro near the Court House station (orange line). I was dressed in pretty formal business attire, with a heavy coat on over my clothes because it was spring and still cold. I had huge sunglasses on that seriously took up most of my face. Nothing was tight-fitting, hell, I barely had any color on. I was pretty much dressed in all black with my black peacoat and black slacks on. That, the fact that it was broad daylight, or that the sun had barely been up an hour, or that I was walking through a nice family neighborhood and right next to an elementary school, didn’t stop some jerk from harassing me. (But we’re always “asking for attention,” or these things wouldn’t happen, right? Ugh.)

    Just a few blocks from the metro, while on N. Adams St. between Key Blvd. and 16th St. N, a guy in a red pickup truck came from around the corner in front of me and then pulled up next to me. He slowed down, rolled down his window, and proceeded to whistle, hoot and holler at me. “Hey baby! What you doing? Hey baby! Looking good!” [Smooch noises, kissy faces.] I just looked straight on and kept walking. He kept at it another minute, then revved his engine and drove off. I flicked him off and kept walking to the metro.

    It bothered me all morning. I felt angry, violated, confused, embarrassed. It was so unexpected that early in the morning and in the kind of setting I was in when it happened. I felt completely caught off guard and like I was powerless to stop it. If I felt all that just from some creep yelling at me from his vehicle, I can’t imagine how violated other people must feel when men choose to actually physically violate them, flash them or direct hateful slurs at them.

  5. Pingback: Tracking Part II | Holla Back DC!

  6. Pingback: Three Ways to Report to WMATA | Holla Back DC!

  7. Pingback: CASS: Moving Forward | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  8. Pingback: Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  9. Pingback: Grabbed, then verbally assaulted at Metro stop | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  10. Pingback: Groped in front of her grandfather while at Metro station | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  11. Pingback: Flashed on Metro during morning rush hour commute | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  12. Pingback: Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  13. Pingback: Flashed while walking home from the metro | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  14. Pingback: Confronted sexual harasser taking photos of women’s bodies on Metro train | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  15. Pingback: New anti-sexual harassment PSAs at D.C. Metro stations « Feminist Conscience

  16. Pingback: CASS applauds Will Eastman and U Street Music Hall for being allies in the fight for safe spaces! | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  17. Pingback: 4th of July stalking & sexual harassment | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  18. Pingback: Harassed on the Red Line | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  19. Pingback: CASS Makes National Headlines! | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  20. Pingback: Police told her she just caught chronic flasher “at a bad time” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  21. Pingback: “Sometimes I tell people about it, laughing…but I think about it every day” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  22. Pingback: “…Ignoring the person angers them, which results in a heightened barrage of abusive language” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  23. Pingback: When leering makes you feel unsafe | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  24. Pingback: “I put my head down, broke eye contact & hurried my pace” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  25. Pingback: “Baby, don’t you want to dance for me?” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  26. Pingback: What’s changed since the ’80s? | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  27. Pingback: “It made me realize how dangerous DC is for the LGBT community” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  28. Pingback: Loitering smokers | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  29. Pingback: “You should be ashamed.” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  30. Pingback: “Chase it down, grab it, push it, shout as loud as you can (scream if you want to), hit 911 on your cell, spray it with pepper spray. Fight back.” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  31. Pingback: “Stop the Silence” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  32. Pingback: Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  33. Pingback: “I just wanted to get away” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  34. Pingback: “I felt humiliated, violated, and ashamed.” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  35. Pingback: “[I] took a route that was twice as long but didn’t force me to walk past the group of men again.” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  36. Pingback: Stalked and harassed while biking to work | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  37. Pingback: “I kept moving closer to the window, trying to ignore him but he kept getting closer.” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  38. Pingback: Sexually assaulted by biker in Mt. Pleasant | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  39. Pingback: Just what you need in the morning: New Carrollton Metro masturbator | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  40. Pingback: “When I ignored him, he grew annoyed and said, ‘You a ugly b****.’” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  41. Pingback: “You shouldn’t talk that way to women on the street!” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  42. Pingback: When Standing Up to Sexual Harassment Makes You a B*tch | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  43. Pingback: “I’ve never been fully comfortable on the Metro since.” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  44. Pingback: Harassed during cab ride home | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  45. Pingback: “They shouted insults at me” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  46. Pingback: “I took a detour back to my house because I was so frazzled.” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  47. Pingback: “There isn’t a week that goes by that I wish I’d screamed at him:” Metro masturbator | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  48. Pingback: When Standing Up to Sexual Harassment Makes You a B*tch | Fem2pt0

  49. Pingback: Sexually assaulted by biker | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  50. Pingback: “I am still angry about having to make the choice between sunshine and safety.” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  51. Pingback: “I’d been yelled at before but never had anyone be persistent and follow me.” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  52. Pingback: “I stick him with my hat pin to let him know that I know what he’s doing and I won’t tolerate it.” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  53. Pingback: “Sleeping” groper on 90 Bus | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  54. Pingback: “I wish I could feel safe & walk down the street in my own neighborhood without worrying about which man will be the next…objectify my body” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  55. Pingback: “I wish I could feel safe & walk down the street in my own neighborhood without worrying about which man will be the next…to objectify my body” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  56. Pingback: “Walking as a woman isn’t a crime, isn’t an invitation, and shouldn’t be a constant source of fear.” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  57. Pingback: Using fireworks & loud noises to antagonize women walking & biking | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  58. Pingback: Street Harassment, Blogging & the Internet: Sharing stories, spurring action | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  59. Pingback: Shoe Shining | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  60. Pingback: It Was For All Of Us…. | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  61. Pingback: Do Not Touch | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  62. Pingback: “I said ‘move’. But nothing.” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  63. Pingback: I put on my “Safety Face” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  64. Pingback: “I, too, am a human” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  65. Pingback: “It was unsettling but I am proud that I still stood up for myself” | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  66. Pingback: Followed on foot in Shaw | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

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