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).

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).

“On an almost daily basis, I was harassed going to the pharmacy or the bank.”

posted in: Silver Spring | 0

Location: Langley Park/Silver Spring
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

Langley Park, Maryland

For the longest year of my life, I lived in an apartment off of New Hampshire Avenue that was about a ten-minute drive to College Park. At first, I was thrilled with the cheap rent and all of my neighbors seemed really nice, but within a month I became so agitated that I would drive over to different neighborhoods just to get groceries or a drink.  On an almost daily basis I was harassed going to the pharmacy or the bank. Some men would just leer at me, licking their lips and bending at their knees to get a better look at me. Other times they would say nasty things, thinking I couldn’t understand them [sic]. I tried to fight back, but of course nothing really worked. It got to the point that I started to make some terrible judgments about people, and it’s taken me a long time to stop being defensive out on the street. I remember reading one post where someone said that this happens everywhere, and I know that’s true .. but in some places it is much more commonplace.

Submitted on 10/10/12 by “MA”

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.

“Women are supposed to be able to move freely in this country.”

posted in: Farragut North | 3

Location: 16th and L St NW (Farragut North)
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

I am on my way home from work, where, ironically, I work with a pro-woman non-profit. I stop at the I decide to grab some food before walking the two blocks to the Metro. This means, I do not walk to the Metro with my coworker. I don’t think much of this, because I am used to walking alone at night. We all have to sometimes, right? As I come out of my office, I see a group of men who I would estimate to be around 20 years of age. One of them walks in front of me with his arms spread out so he takes up more room. I try to walk around him, but he gets in front of me. I realize he is purposely blocking my path. The man calls out, “You’re a dog!” After he says this a couple of times, he stops blocking my path and goes back to his group of friends a few steps away. Then he shouts, “Let me in your pussy!” The friends join in the shouting of both of his chants, and I calmly walk to the Metro station, relieved he has stopped blocking my path. I wonder if these men had any idea that their “fun” came at my sense of freedom and safety. What is so fun about jumping in front of a woman so she can’t walk and shouting derogatory things at her? I really don’t get it. Women are supposed to be able to move freely in this country. Why don’t we work to stop this bullying, abusive behavior?

Submitted on 10/19/12 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:
Please consider reporting to Metro Transit Police: www.wmata.com/harassment; 202-962-2121.

Stalked & Sexually Harassed While Biking to Work

posted in: Bicycle | 5

Location: 10th and N St NW
Time: Morning Rush Hour (5am-9:30am)

So I ride my bike to work every morning, complete with helmet, backpack and business attire. I was getting on my bike on 10th street and riding down around 7:15am, and then at the cross section of N and 10th, this car full of men stops in the middle of the street and start catcalling and saying very vulgar things to me in Spanish. I was biking towards them and decided to continue my route by making a right turn onto N St. Then men instead of continuing along slowed down the car and continued shouting at me and even reached out the windows to touch me. The street is narrow and I was stuck between their cars and the parked cars on the street. Frustrated, I decided to give them the middle finger but I lost my coordination and crashed into one of the cars parked on the side of the road, and then they just sped up and left. I hit my leg into my pedal somehow and now have a deep cut on my shin and a lot of bruising. I could have been really hurt and sure I didn’t have to give them the middle finger but they were harassing me enough that I probably would have crashed anyways.

Submitted on 7/16/12 by “Ambar”


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). 

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