Last week we discussed the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault on WMATA. Today for our Public Transit Awareness Month, we look at what other cities are doing to address the problem on their trains and buses.
In April 2008, Boston launched the nation’s first ever anti-sexual harassment campaign, which led to a 74 percent increase in reporting and 24 arrests.
Check out the other anti-sexual harassment ads in Boston. They even have one to deter perpetrators that says, “This is what happens when you can’t keep your hands to yourself.”
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.”
Check out the the ad and the time line that led to MTA’s anti-sexual harassment campaign.
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.”