Street Harassed in Petworth: “I Feel Demeaned and Disrespected. I am Angry that I Cannot Exercise and Run Errands without Worrying about My Safety.”

Location:  Georgia Avenue/Petworth Metro Stop, Washington, DC
Time:  Night (7:30pm-12am)

Last night in the Georgia Ave/Petworth area, I was leaving a Yoga class and stopped briefly on the side walk to look up the nearest bus stop. A man, slurring his words, said, “How about 30 cents, beautiful?” I kept walking, and another man walked out of a take out restaurant and yelled, “Run away, little girl! Run!” as he followed me a few paces. Two other men made obscene gestures with their tongues while making sexual remarks. The final man I encountered told me to “go home.” Too afraid to wait for the bus, I called my boyfriend and talked to him until I reached the Metro. Very shaken, I tried to hide my tears as I rode the Metro home. I feel demeaned and disrespected. I am angry that I cannot exercise and run errands without worrying about my safety. The culture of street harassment NEEDS to change.
Submitted 5/5/15 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).

BREAKING: Arrest made in December 2012 Uber rape case

In December, a Yahoo! Group for DC’s Cleveland Park neighborhood, posted a message detailing a rape allegedly committed by an Uber cabdriver a few days prior. According to the listerv post, a 20-year-old woman who used Uber, an “on-demand” cab service accessed via a smartphone app, was attacked, knocked unconscious and raped by her driver after receiving a ride to her home in Cleveland Park.

We wrote about the case in January, noting the strong need for violence prevention and safer travel options for women.

Today, Prince of Petworth announced that an arrest has been made in the case.  We at CASS send our hearts out to the survivor and wish her the best. We hope that Uber pays close attention to this tragedy to learn how others can be prevented.

Details below, along with a statement from Uber. 


Reposted from Prince of Petworth, 3/15/13:

Back in mid-December there was a report on the Cleveland Park listserv of an Uber driver who had allegedly sexually assaulted a woman on the 3200 block of 36th Street NW. An arrest in that case has now been made.

From MPD:

The Metropolitan Police Department has announced that an arrest has been made in the First Degree Sexual Abuse that occurred in the 3200 block of 36th Street, NW. 

On Saturday, December 8, 2012, at approximately 3:00 am, an adult female who had hired a cab service was sexually assaulted while in the 3200 block of 36th Street, NW. 

After an investigation by members of the Sexual Assault Unit, a warrant was issued for 35 year-old Anouar Habib Trabelsi of Alexandria, VA, charging him with First Degree Sexual Abuse.

On March 13, 2013, Mr. Trabelsi was arrested by members of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Ed. Note: Representatives from Uber will be releasing a statement shortly at which point I will update here.

Statement from Rachel Holt, Washington, DC General Manager, Uber:

Immediately upon being told that a driver for Capitol Limo, a limo company utilizing Uber technology, was suspected of committing a crime, we deactivated the partner account. He has not done a single ride through Uber since then. We have worked closely with the police and prosecutors investigating this incident, and will continue to help them in any way possible. The safety of our users is absolutely paramount, and we will continue to be vigilant that riders’ safety and security are protected.

 

“Baby, don’t you want to dance for me?”

posted in: Georgetown, WMATA | 5
“I always think of the bus driver as the person who might actually prevent someone from saying something like that. Instead, it was the person who was supposed to keep an eye out for that who was harrassing me.” Photo credit: Cary Grant

Location: Bus stop 38B; M & 33rd St
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

I had met some friends for a drink in Georgetown and was waiting for the bus, thinking that that was safer than walking over to Rosslyn to catch the metro. I was a bit wary of late night bus riding, but figured it was a short trip. After I swiped my metro card, the bus driver said “Baby, don’t you want to dance for me?” I was very clearly not drunk. Maybe he expected me to be. Either way, I always think of the bus driver as the person who might actually prevent someone from saying something like that. Instead, it was the person who was supposed to keep an eye out for that who was harrassing me

Submitted on 7/13/12 by Anonymous

If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system:
Please consider reporting to Metro Transit Police; www.wmata.com/harassment, on Twitter at @WMATAharassment, or 202-962-2121.

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.

CASS Calls on WMATA to Address Sexual Harassment and Assault

posted in: WMATA | 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2012

For more information, contact:
Chai Shenoy, cofounder
chai@collectiveactiondc.org

CASS CALLS ON WMATA TO ADDRESS SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND ASSAULT

Collective Action for Safe Spaces attends February 22nd DC Council Performance Oversight Hearing on WMATA to Recommend How to Prevent Sexual Harassment and Assault

WASHINGTON, DC— During the DC City Council’s Performance Oversight Hearing of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) tomorrow, Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS), private citizens, and a street harassment expert will testify about public sexual harassment and assault that occurs on the transit system.

Across three years, CASS has received hundreds of stories about public sexual harassment and at least 30 percent of the experiences took place on or around transit stations, trains, buses or bus stops. CASS will recommend a three-pronged approach to curtailing these crimes.

“We want WMATA to institute a public service campaign, giving information on how to report sexual harassment and assault,” says Chai Shenoy, co-founder of Collective Action for Safe Spaces. “The fact is that this is a public safety concern—where obvious, egregious, and repeated acts are taking place in our transit system and not enough is being done to address these acts.”

Behind New York City, Washington, DC has the second largest transit system in the country, but among the top four largest transit systems, it does the least to address sexual harassment and assault. For example, while the three other cities, Boston, Chicago, and New York, instituted anti-sexual harassment PSA campaigns in 2008 and 2009, Washington, DC still does not have one.

In addition to a campaign, the advocacy group wants the DC City Council to urge WMATA to collect data on sexual harassment and train their employees and the Transit police on how to address sexual harassment and assault complaints. In addition, the training would underscore the importance of not sexually harassing passengers.

The hearing will take place on February 22, 2012 in the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, Room 500 at or around 1 p.m. It will also be streamed live at http://dccouncil.us/granicus.

Collective Action for Safe Spaces is a grassroots organization that aims to empower the DC Metro area to build a community free from public sexual harassment and assault. It is accomplished through online activism, public policy and advocacy, community workshops, and innovative direct services. Find more information at www.collectiveactiondc.org or Twitter at @SafeSpacesDC.

# # #

If you would like more information about this topic, or would like to schedule an interview, please contact Chai Shenoy at chai@collectiveactiondc.org or (202) 556-4232.

Tracking

posted in: WMATA | 6

Photo by takomabibelot via flickr

Since our first post last March we’ve received more than 200 experiences from individuals across the DC Metro area. We knew that many of the incidents occurred on pubic transportation but we were curious to find out the exact numbers.

Here is the break down:

  • 40 reported incidents occurred on the Metro
  • 8 reported incidents occurred at a bus stop
  • 4 reported incidents happened on a bus
  • 3 reported incidents were on a Metro station escalator
  • 1 reported incident happened on the Circulator
  • Of the incidents that occurred on the Metro:

  • 13 occurred on the Orange/Blue line
  • 20 happened on the Red line
  • 7 on the Green/Yellow line
  • What  types of public sexual harassment occurred on our public transportation?

  • 32 reports of verbal sexual harassment
  • 12 reports of groping reported (4 of which were thigh grabs)
  • 4 reports of physical assault
  • 4 reports of stalking
  • 3 reports of public masturbation
  • 3 reports included lewd gestures
  • 2 reports included the perpetrator invading the victim’s space
  • 2 reports of verbal harassment also included leering
  • 1 report of unwanted picture taking
  • 1 report of upskirting
  • 1 threat of physical violence and murder
  • 1 report of a man trying to get a woman into his a car while she waits at a bus stop
  • Of the above incidents 5 were reported to either WMATA officials and/or the police.  Out of those 5 cases, there was only 1 positive response, which led to the perpetrator’s arrest.

    What do these numbers mean?  Read More

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