“The Cab Driver Started Masturbating and Watching Me in The Rear View Mirror”

Location: Wisconsin Avenue/Friendship Heights
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

Around 8pm one evening, I got in a cab on Wisconsin Avenue, NW, and the cab driver took a side street and started masturbating and looking at me in rear view mirror while talking. I was afraid that if I said something or tried to get out that the situation could get worse — so I waited til we got to a main street and got out.

He drives a green cab. He is in his 50s or early 60s, medium build/height, dirty gray shoulder length hair, dirty clothes.

Submitted 10/18/14 by Anonymous.

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).

“Something Terrifying Happened to Me in a DC Cab”

Collective Action for Safe Spaces DCLocation: Cleveland Park – Connecticut Avenue NW
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

Something terrifying happened to me on Friday evening, September 26th, around 10:30 pm, after taking a taxi to Cleveland Park. After repeated personal questions and inappropriate comments that made me uncomfortable (eg “I like you,” “will you go on a date with me?”), the cab driver stopped in front of my building, looked me in the eyes, intensely, and told me I was locked inside his cab until I handed over “enough” cash. (He had not turned on the meter for the trip). I was trapped inside and scared, so I complied with his request to hand over cash.

I filed a police report with MPD immediately following the incident, I have consulted an attorney, and I plan to press charges. I notified the DC taxicab commission of the incident, and I plan to do the same in Maryland — the cab had Maryland plates. A friend of mine wrote a letter on my behalf to Councilmember Mary Cheh regarding the incident.

I want to do everything in my power not only to bring this man to justice for what he did to me, but also to prevent this from happening to others in the future. Women should be able to feel safe when they get into a taxi. It’s atrocious what we have to face daily just to get around our city — our options are not great, to say the least. Walk and face the dangers and harassment that come along with walking, take a cab and you are still at risk.

Submitted 10/2/14 by “Katie Watkins.”

CASS is launching RightRides, a service to provide free rides home for women and LGBT people, from 12am-3am on Friday, October 31st. Rides, which are made possible by a partnership with Zipcar, will be operated by driver/navigator teams consisting of trained, screened volunteers. Save the number in your phone now: 202-556-4232!


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 Don’t Want to Be Offered Rides, Hit On, Or Ogled!”

Location: I & 13th NW, 1st & D, Judiciary Square
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

Last Monday (9/15), I went to do an on-foot delivery for work. First, as I waited to cross the street at 13th & I Streets NW, a cab driver passed me and pointed to his cab as if he was offering me a ride. I said “No” and continued to wait for the light. Second, I took a different path than usual to switch up my routine.

On 1st and D, some men were taking up space on the street and exchanging money. My options were to walk through them, walk behind the guy with his back towards the bushes, or walk behind the guy with his back towards the curb. The most open option was to walk behind the guy nearest the curb. As I do this, he says, “How are you doing young lady?” while looking me up and down. I do not want to engage him so I continued walking. He says, “I’ll see you when you come back, baby!” I continue walking, continuing to not engage or encourage him.

Lastly, after leaving my delivery destination at Judiciary Square, a man would not stop staring and smiling at me. It was annoying. I gave him eye contact and said “No,” but it didn’t discourage him. “I saw you from afar,” he says, “and I wondered if you had a tattoo.” I assume he thinks my patterned leggings are tattooed legs. He’s got this creepy grin on his face the whole time. I replied with a brusque “No, I don’t” and kept walking. “Have a nice day!” he says. I don’t reply.

I said aloud to myself, “These men are so ridiculous!” I was not trying to be offered rides, hit on, or ogled. I have a job to do for work, and that was the only thing on my mind. These men need to learn how to leave women alone.

Submitted 9/23/14 by “D.”

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).

CASS Continues the Conversation on Sexual Harassment & Transit Safety in DC

CASS Board member Jen Corey testifies on cab safety at DC Council
CASS Board member Jen Corey testifies on cab safety at DC Council

A lot of the harassment submissions we receive are incidents that took place on or around public transit and in taxis. For many of us, it can feel like a gauntlet trying to get from point A to point B. Your stories are our daily fuel to keep working to find new and creative solutions to make transportation safe and accessible for everyone, no matter what gender identity you put out to the world or no matter who you love. We take many different approaches to do so, including fostering a supportive online forum for sharing our experiences, collaborating with WMATA on its anti-sexual harassment campaign, educating policymakers, providing anti-harassment trainings and resources, and spreading our message through street art.

Last week, CASS Board Member and all-around anti-street harassment bad a$$ Jen Corey testified at the DC Council Public Oversight Roundtable on safety in taxicabs. The hearing was prompted by findings that the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission (DCTC) receives approximately 150 complaints per month, 80 percent of which are from women who feel threatened, harassed, or unsafe in taxicabs. The purpose of the hearing was to understand the processes by which the Commission evaluates, investigates, and resolves these complaints. Following opening testimony by the DC Taxicab Commissioner, Jen — who also boasts the title of Miss District of Columbia 2009 — shared several serious harassment experiences she’s had in or around cabs in DC, all of which has ultimately led her to no longer use DC taxicabs. Jen also discussed CASS’s work to bring the innovative RightRides program to DC to address the immediate need for safe and affordable late-night transportation while we continue to work towards the culture change needed to eradicate public sexual harassment and assault.

 


CASS Recommendations for Improving Taxi Safety in DC

Jen also shared some of CASS’s initial recommendations for improving taxi safety in the District, including:

        1. More thorough background checks and driver screening processes;
        2. Sexual harassment and assault prevention training for employees; and
        3. Easier mechanisms for reporting issues and incidents.

CASS 2013 Survey Findings on Safety and Sexual Harassment in DC Taxis

CASS Board Member Jen Corey testified at the DC Council Public Oversight Roundtable on sexual harassment and safety in DC taxicabs.

As part of our efforts to bring the NYC-based free, late-night rides program RightRides to DC, we put out a 23-question transit safety survey and you and you responded in droves! Here’s what we learned from the 276 survey responses:

          • 72 percent of respondents use public transit late at night (12am or later) at least once a month, with nearly half (47 percent) using public transit late at night at least once a week.
          • The majority of respondents indicated that they feel safe only “some of the time” (43 percent), “hardly ever” (17 percent), or “never” (7 percent) while taking public transit alone, while with less than one-third indicating that they felt safe either “always” or “most of the time.”
          • Nearly 30 percent indicated they use taxis late at night at least once a week, and 50 percent indicate that they feel safe taking taxis late at night by themselves.
          • However, cost is often a barrier and over 40 percent responded that they “sometimes” or “often” walk or bike late at night because they cannot afford to take a taxi.

And, though sadly this may not come as a surprise to the many of us who frequently experience street harassment, survey respondents shared that they had experienced the following forms of sexual harassment and assault while walking, biking, riding public transportation, or taking taxis or car services late at night:

          • 90 percent experienced at least one form of harassment or assault
          • 83 percent experienced verbal harassment
          • 71 percent experienced leering
          • 39 percent experienced following/stalking behaviors
          • 20 percent were rubbed up against
          • 8 percent experienced groping, public exposure/flashing and public masturbation

NOTE: Check out our PDF on our transit survey data for more information. Our survey and its findings are part of our continued effort to keep a finger on the pulse of transit safety concerns in DC and help bring safer transit options like RightRides to DC. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more updates as we continue this work. We thank you for your support and send a special thanks to all the folks who answered our survey and are helping us create a safer DC!

 

“I Was Forced to Take A Cab After Being Street Harassed & Followed in Chinatown.”

Location:  5th and Mass Avenue NW, DC
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

I was walking from my house to the Gallery Place Metro Station. I had to stop at the corner of 5th and Mass until the light changed. A teenager (probably between the ages of 16-18) asked me if I had a dollar. I usually dont give out money on the street, well not not to younger people who dont appear to be homeless. But I happened to have 4 quarters in my jacket pocket so I did. I was on my cell phone at the time (talking to my brother) and the guy starts telling me that I have a sexy voice and he noticed that I started to get nervous so he started to get closer to me and asked me “what is wrong with me and if I’m ok” hes completely violating my space and starts to follow me.

I asked him to leave me alone and that I wasnt interested. He still follows me on his bike asking me whats wrong with me. I stayed on the phone with my brother, to feel safer and I said to my brother I should get a cab instead of going any further to the train station. The guy rode his bike on another street by then…but as soon as I hailed the cab the guy on the bike rode up to the cab and basically chased me in there and I had to get in the door before he could try to open it, he was still saying things to me.

This was around 8:20 pm, it wasnt completely dark yet and there were plenty of people outside. The cab driver noticed that the guy chased me to the cab (while still on his bike). This should not be happening.

Read more stats via www.stopstreetharassment.org
Read more stats via Stop Street Harassment; www.stopstreetharassment.org

Emphases by CASS.
S
ubmitted 4/27/13 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.
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