Repeated Verbal Harassment: “I will break your neck.”

Location: 16th & L St NW, Washington, DC
Time:  Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

Last week I was walking from the Metro to work and a white man was sitting on the sidewalk with a tin can. I had a mug in my hand, and, as I passed, he yelled at me: “I will knock that right out of your hand, you whore. I will break your neck.” I reported this to an officer who was down the street and didn’t see him again for a week. Today I was walking to get lunch with a coworker and he was sitting on the sidewalk asking for money. I’d heard him shout a racist slur at the woman in front of us, so I ignored him. He then yelled at me and my coworker, saying “I hope you choke to death on the next cock you suck.” We had no choice but to walk by him again coming back from getting lunch. This time he yelled at us again, saying, “So you would rather give your money to immigrants but not me? I break your fucking necks.” I reported to the police again today.

Submitted 5/4/15 by “NM.”

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).

It “Makes Me Absolutely Hate Living in DC”: Catcalling Group in Petworth

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

There is a group of men who constantly hang out on the block of 9th St and Upshur Street NW, near the post office. Nearly every single time I walk near that block or one block over on Georgia Avenue, I am catcalled. I live on 9th street, and that area is nearly impossible to avoid, as it is on the way to the Metro.

This seriously has happened to me nearly EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. since I moved to Petworth a year ago. It is the worst in the summer, and in the middle of the day, when not as many people are about, but it happens all the time, morning, midday, rush hour, etc.

I have confronted many of the men about their behavior and asked them not to talk to women on the street like that, which they just seem to either 1) find amusing or 2) get defensive about the “compliment” they’ve given me or 3) call me a bitch.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to deal with, giving me extremely aggressive feelings, and makes me ABSOLUTELY HATE living in DC.

Submitted 8/25/15 by “CL”

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).

Taking Action and Speaking Up: “Don’t be a Passive Bystander”

Location: Shaw-Howard Metro Stop, Washington, DC
Time:  Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

A group of three men were yelling after a woman in front of me. They were trying to get her attention by yelling, “black tank top, black tank top!” When she didn’t respond, they yelled, “What, are you too cute to turn around?” One of their friends was ahead of her, so they yelled at him to stop her. He got really close to her and followed her for half a block. When she got to her bus stop (right in front of Shaw-Howard metro stop on 8th ST NW and R), I went up to her and asked if she knew them. She said no, but hadn’t heard that they had been calling after her because she had been on the phone. I told her what had happened.

I walked a block away so my dog could go to the bathroom in some grass, and looked back towards the bus stop. One of the guys had gone back and continued to harass her. She looked over to me, so I walked back over. When I got closer I could hear that she was telling him to stop and he said, “I have the right to talk to you if I want!” I walked to the bus stop and said “hi” to her, positioning myself in between her and the guy harassing her. That small gesture seemed to be enough to diffuse the situation. He asked me if I was going to take my dog on the bus. I said no. He walked away, and the bus came.

After spending a couple years in Nicaragua, where street harassment is rampant, I expected to experience less street harassment in DC, but this was the most aggressive street harassment I have ever seen. I was scared it was going to escalate, especially when they were essentially trapping her on the street with their friend who was told to “stop her.” In this situation I felt comfortable enough to intervene the way I did because I was with my dog, and there were other people around. I did not feel comfortable enough to turn around and say something when it all started because I felt vulnerable- I was also trapped in between the three guys and their one friend who was ahead of us.

My takeaway from this is to be an active bystander. There are different ways to do it, but it’s important to help diffuse the situation as it’s happening to make sure it doesn’t escalate even further. While I was in the situation I thought back to this blog post Collective Action had put out a while back that I had read: http://www.collectiveactiondc.org/2012/11/11/7-steps-you-can-take-to-address-street-harassment/.

Tell your friends that if they see street harassment happening, do something! Don’t be a passive bystander!

Submitted 5/4/15 by “Lauren S.”

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).

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).

Street Harassed in DC: “It Made Me Feel Like a Piece of Meat”

"I Don't Think I'll Feel Safe on the DC Metro Again"

Location: 12th Street and N Street NW, Washington, DC
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

When I was 19, I traveled into DC with my friend, who was 17. It was the second time I had gone down to the city on my own, the first was for a summer job interview in Foggy Bottom.

I felt very in charge. I love DC with all my heart and knew where I was going, listing all the different rules and fun facts of the city. I might have sounded pretentious, but I didn’t care; I was spending the day in the city without any relative accompanying me.

My mom told me to call her and go to my uncle’s place if there was any trouble. As if. When my friend and I were crossing the street, headed to Buffalo Exchange from the Mt. Vernon metro stop, two middle-aged men were on the street corner chatting. One turned to look at us, and said as we had passed, “Mm, girl, I like the way you walk.”

My friend and I exchanged shocked glances and picked up our pace. We walked a little faster, and one of the men shouted out another catcall about how he liked our jeans. Whatever confidence I had about traveling into the city quickly disappeared. It was the first time I was ever catcalled, in my favorite city out of all places, and it made me feel like I was piece of meat.

Submitted 3/1/15 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).

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