Three Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaigns that Work

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.

Boston

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.

Some of the ads read: “Rub against me, and I’ll expose you.” and “I’m not the one who should be ashamed.”

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.”

New York

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.”

The campaign also included 200,000 bilingual brochures that contained specific information on reporting sexual harassment and assault crimes.

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.)

Chicago

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.”

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4 responses to “Three Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaigns that Work

  1. Golden Silence

    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.)

    That’s a good idea. It’s easy to miss a PSA on the wall of a crowded train, but hard to miss a loud voice coming out of nowhere announcing this.

    These cities are very progressive compared to DC. DC really needs to get the ball rolling with this.

  2. Hurrah! What a refreshingly positive news story about responsible city officials who are taking sexual violence seriously! Thanks for sharing all this great info!

  3. Pingback: Accounting for Women « Holla Back DC!

  4. Pingback: Recapping Public Transit Awarness Month « Holla Back DC!

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