In September 2008, the MTA launched a PSA that included SubTalk cards that read: “Sexual Harassment is a Crime in the subway, too – A crowded train is no excuse for an improper touch. Don’t stand for it or feel ashamed, or be afraid to speak up. Report it to an MTA employee or police officer.”
We also heard recently that an MTA conductor played PSAs over the loud speaker, one of which stated that a crowded subway is not an excuse to touch another passenger inappropriately. (We particularly like this PSA because it places the focus on the perpetrator.)
In November 2009, the CTA launched an anti-sexual harassment campaign thanks to the hard work of the Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team. The ad states, “If it’s unwanted, it’s harassment. Touching. Rude comments. Leering. Speak up. If you see something, say something.”
We applaud Boston, NYC, and Chicago for their efforts and hope that DC follows in their footsteps. Maybe one day instead of hearing “Is that your bag?” over the loud speaker, we’ll hear, “Is that your hand? A crowded train is no excuse to touch someone inappropriately.”
Today is the start of Public Transit Awareness Month here at HBDC!, which seems even more fitting with 10 cent metro fare price increase that took effect yesterday.
Throughout the month we will focus on public sexual harassment on our public transportation in the DC metro area. Some of the topics will include:
The prevalence of public sexual harassment and assault on our trains and buses
How to report incidents of harassment and assault while traveling
Anti- public sexual harassment campaigns and how other cities have addressed the problem
Taxi drivers who harass
A look at gender-segregated trains, buses, and taxis across the world
If you you’d like contribute in some way or have anything specific you’d like us talk about leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ve ever experienced or witnessed public sexual harassment or assault on DC metro public transportation, we want to hear from you! Submit your experience using our anonymous online form.
We’re back from our holiday vacation and ready to take 2010 by storm! We wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope you all had a safe, harassment free holiday. If you experienced any public sexual harassment over the holiday break let us know!
For us, 2010 will have a major focus on community mobilization, education, and activism. A big part of that will be working to build more allies and developing bystander intervention trainings on public sexual harassment. We’ve had multiple discussions about the importance of bystanders in the fight against public sexual harassment so we were very intrigued by a PSA we saw while riding the Metro a few weeks ago.
While the PSA does mention crimes and psychological disasters as the types of topics they cover in the free bystander training program, there is an obvious focus on natural disasters.
After a quick Google search, we learned that DC Citizen Corps is the DC branch of the US Freedom Corps, which was stared under President Bush as a way to expand volunteer service.
DC Citizen Corps creates opportunities for individuals to help their communities prepare for and respond to emergencies. It brings together local leaders, citizen volunteers and the network of first responder organizations, such as fire departments, police departments and emergency medical personnel. The mission of the DC Citizen Corps is to have all citizens participate in making their communities safer, stronger and better prepared to prevent and handle threats of terrorism, crime, and disasters of all kinds.
Of course all of this has us thinking about what our own PSAs will look like as well as HBDC! bystander intervention
trainings focused on public sexual harassment!
If you are interested in finding out our more about DC Citizen Corps, their bystander trainings, and the various programs under DC Citizen Corps check out their site.
If you have any ideas for HBDC! regarding PSAs or bystander trainings, leave us a comment!