Street Harassed at the Bus Stop: “I Would Have Thrown You Through That Glass Window”

Location: G8 bus stop at 11 & M Street NW (towards Avondale)
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

This happened several years ago. I was sitting in the bus shelter at 11th and M Streets NW in the dark at roughly 8:00pm. A man was sitting next to me. Another man walked over and started unlocking a bicycle near the bus shelter. This second man said hello to me. I think I smiled or nodded in response but don’t think that I spoke to him (I don’t remember exactly). He began to repeat “hello” in an increasingly aggressive tone and then he switched to “hola” and continued in a very aggressive tone. I felt uncomfortable and scared.

The guy seated next to me in the shelter didn’t react in any way. Nonetheless, the presence of this bystander made me feel less alone and afraid than I might have if he wasn’t there. Finally I said politely to the harasser, “Please leave me alone.” At which point he aggressively responded with “This IS me leaving you alone. If I wasn’t leaving you alone then I would have thrown you through that plate glass window” (indicating the window of a restaurant on 11th Street near the bus shelter).

I was trying to figure out if I should run away, or take out my phone and call the police, or ask the guy sitting in the shelter to stop ignoring the situation and help, or what. Then the harasser got on his bicycle and rode away. After that, the guy sitting next to me in the shelter took out his ear buds and said to me, “On behalf of all men, I apologize.” Of course at the time I blamed myself for not being friendly to the harasser in the first place — as if it was my fault that he harassed me.

After this incident, I switched to using the bus stop at 11th and K Streets, which feels much safer because there are generally lots of people there outside the hostel. For a while every time I passed that bus shelter at 11th and M, I felt angry — angry at the harasser for making me feel so powerless, and angry at the bystander who ignored the situation until after the harasser left.

Even though this happened a while ago the memories and feelings came back to me when I discovered this website and read other people’s stories. Thank you for the opportunity to tell my story. (I may not remember everything word-for-word as this was several years about but this is the gist of what was said.)

Submitted 10/28/14 by “M.”

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).

“I Was Harassed & Leered at While Riding the Metro Bus in Friendship Heights”

Street harassment in DC metro
“I Was Harassed & Leered at While Riding the Metro Bus in Friendship Heights”

Location: E4 bus stop at the Friendship Heights Metro Station
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

As I sat down on the bus, waiting for the driver to pull away from the stop, an older gentleman in his business suit came in. Though the bus was fairly empty, and he would have had no problems finding a seat nearby, he came and sat down next to me. Since he was a bigger man, my own personal space was invaded and he then started to lean over onto my side. Though I wasn’t directly looking at him, I could tell that he was staring at me, watching my every move.

Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 10/28/13 by Anonymous.


Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Submit 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. Recommended tip: 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).

“I Was Sexually Harassed at the Woodley Park Bus Stop.”

Location: Bus stop at Calvert & Connecticut Ave NW (Woodley Park)
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

This was about a year ago. I was awaiting a bus, and a man started to make small talk with me. Somewhere along the conversation, it turned bad. He told me, “I bet you’ve got a nice pussy.” It was at that point I decided to walk to my destination as that would be more comfortable than waiting one more moment for a bus.

Sexually Harassed at the Woodley Park Bus Stop

Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 10/01/13 by Anonymous.


Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Submit 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. Recommended tip: 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).

Women Deserve Public Space, Too!

Location: Circulator going to Union Station
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)

This guy banged into me when the bus wasn’t even crowded. My fiance called him on it and he started throwing a tantrum and nearly challenging him to fight. I don’t know if this is street harassment but he did act as if, as a male, he was entitled to take any space regardless of a human being’s already taking it.

Submitted 9/23/13 by Anonymous.


Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Submit 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. Recommended tip: 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).

Groping 101: Pretend to fall asleep, fall, in order to grope women on the bus

Location: California & Columbia Road, NW (Adams Morgan)
Time:  Night (7:30pm-12am)

I was heading back to Dupont on the 90 bus after happy hours on U Street. It was a crowded bus, so I grabbed the last seat open, which was in the very front, next to a seemingly drunk man who kept nodding off. As soon as I sat down I could see him out of the corner of my eye looking me up and down, took a deep breath and braced myself for some sort of comment. Surprisingly he left me alone… for a moment. Then he pretended to drift off and let his head fall onto my shoulder then slide across my breast. He quickly apologized and at first I thought perhaps it was a accident. Unfortunately I made the mistake of making eye contact with him. It’s sad how this basic human courtesy seems to just be an open invite to be accosted and molested by pervs! As the bus lurched to a halt at the next stop, he braced himself… by putting his hand on my thigh… first on the part that was covered by my skirt then sliding down ’til he was on my bare skin. I jerked my leg away and fortunately the guy on the other side of me got up so I moved into his seat to put some space between us. I reached behind me to pull the cord for my stop, and he started trying to talk to me.

In April 2012 with help from CASS, WMATA introduced its first-ever public awareness campaign to combat sexual harassment on Metro trains and buses.

All I could understand was “you’re beautiful” and “I dream about you” (um. ew.) He muttered some other things that I couldn’t understand and probably didn’t want to. Then he asked if I had a boyfriend; I lied and said yes. He said something else that I couldn’t understand while leaning over to pat my shoulder. I guess my not slapping him for that was an invite to then rub his hand up my leg, starting to go under my skirt. I jumped up and said “stop it, you’re making me uncomfortable.” He put his hands up and said “ok sorrrrryyyy.” As we got to my stop he said “oh this your stop? I go too.” I let him stumble off the bus before me so I could see which way he was headed and immediately walked the other way, cell in hand, ready to call the cops if he followed. All he did was yell “where you going baby?” Ugh. Sadly, part of why I took the bus instead of walking back was to avoid walking alone at night and getting harassed!

Submitted on 7/22/12 by “LC”

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault?
Submit 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:
Please consider reporting to Metro Transit Police: www.wmata.com/harassment; 202-962-2121.

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