While we know that WMATA doesn’t always responded well to sexual harassment and assault reports, we do believe that it is important to report incidents and file complaints in order to document its prevalence. Sexual harassment and assault on our Metro trains and buses is very underreported. According to The Sexist, in 2009, there were 47 cases of sexual assault reported to Metro police (anything from unwanted touching, groping, indecent exposure, and assault). Thirteen of the 47 cases were closed.
The more we report sexual harassment and assault, the less WMATA can ignore that it is a problem they need to address. Maybe they will even start taking sexual harassment and assault as seriously as they take the raccoon problem.
Three ways to report sexual harassment and assault to WMATA:
1) If you are sexually harassed or assaulted by a Metro employee:
Take the name of the employee, record the date, time and location of the incident and report it the customer service department, at 800-637-7000 or online at www.metroopensdoors.com
According to WMATA: “When an incident is reported, a case file is created and the information is sent to the head of the Division for the employee in question. We will conduct a thorough investigation and take appropriate action. Harassment is not acceptable, please do not tolerate it, take action and report it, so that we can take action as well.”
Even if you don’t get the name of the employee (seems like a lot of trouble to us) and you still want to report, we fully encourage you to. That way WMATA will know their employees are sexually harassing riders.
2) If you are groped, witness public masturbation/indecent exposure or are assaulted, threatened or stalked while riding the Metro:
Go to the metro kiosk and ask for help or call the Metro Transit Police at (202) 962-2121 from your cell phone or the call box that’s located in each metro car. Metro Transit Police deal with incidents that occur on the platform, Metro cars, and Metro parking lots and garages.
3) If you experience verbal sexual harassment on WMATA trains or buses (or if you don’t feel like reporting a physical assault to the police), write WMATA a complaint. Let them know that this is a problem and it is time they did something about it.
Submit your complaint to WMATA online.