I was walking in front of the Watergate Complex and was sexually assaulted by a stranger. I was sitting in on a bench, putting a band-aid on a blistered foot, and he approached and sat down beside me. I was suspicious and was worried about him taking my purse, and so I moved it to my other side. He moved closer until he was touching against me and proposed something sexual. When I said no, and told him I was going to walk away, he got angry, got on top of me, and pinned me against the bench, saying awful, sexual comments and threats, and started groping me. I tried to fight him off, but he only ran away when a couple of pedestrians came close on the sidewalk.
There was nothing the police could do, because I wouldn’t have been able to identify him. Also, Georgetown University campus security ignored my complaint and didn’t send out a warning to the campus community.
So be careful–something that seems to be just sexual suggestions and harrassment at first can easily turn into a dangerous, terrifying experience. It can be ten times worse when you have no ability to do anything about it. After that, I have always carried pepper spray with me, even though it is illegal to buy it in D.C. We need to change D.C. law in order to empower women to protect themselves from harrassers and assaulters.
Thank you for appearing on WAMU, to give me the opportunity to share my story and warn other women.
Submitted on 6/17/2010 by K.E.C.
Location: Rock Creek Parkway, in front of the Watergate Complex
Time of Harassment: Night (7:30P-12A)
Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.