Monthly Archives: December 2010

Reflecting on 2010

What an exciting year it has been!

Here is a glimpse at what 2010 brought us:

We’ve also been working behind the scenes on a lot of exciting changes that we will let you know about in 2011!

None of this work would be possible without the fiscal and emotional support of the DC Metro community. Through your connections , we’ve met amazing individuals, potential mentors, board members, and excited donors. We are in the process of incorporating and becoming a 501(c)(3), launching Right Rides, and developing a new website in order to increase our efforts and meet the needs  in order to make make our city free from public sexual harassment and assault.

If you would like to get involved please fill out our volunteer form here. (If you have already filled the form out but haven’t heard from us yet, it’s because we are working on developing a volunteer training and we will be in contact with everyone soon.)

We will be on hiatus till early January for a much need break and some relaxation time.  That doesn’t mean that street harassment stops or that you can’t submit your experience(s) which we will post when we return.

Thank you to everyone who has shared their personal experiences to help raise awareness about public sexual harassment.

We look forward to what the New Year has to offer.  Here is to many more safe walks, rides on the Metro and bus, and engaging conversations to end public sexual harassment and assault in the DC metro area.

From the HBDC! family to yours, happy holidays!

P.S. Here are the five most read experiences of the year to get you through the holidays.

Upskirting at Court House Metro from 5/13 (This submission actually led to the arrest of the perpetrator.)
Command: Smile from 7/13
Thank You For Showing Respect from 6/15
“Imma make you have my baby” from 6/8
Sexual Assault in Columbia Heights from 8/26

“It’s incredibly upsetting and unnerving.”

Photo by decade_null via flickr

I was walking across the street and this car started to turn while I was still in the crosswalk. He came up really close to me, to the point where I thought he was going to hit me. Instead, he rolled down his window and yelled, “Hey sexy!” and then drove off very quickly — before I even had time to register what was said. I was scared at first, too, because I thought he was going to hit me, and then I was afraid of being pulled into the car. I was so startled it took me a second to react. I was shaken and angry.

Then, just as I got on the sidewalk and the other light turned green, another car honked at me as it went by. I was street harassed twice within a 15-second time frame today. It’s incredibly upsetting and unnerving.

I’m tired of feeling degraded.

Submitted by Anonymous on 12/21/2010

Location: Friendship Heights

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.

“penis sticking out of his jeans.”

I was walking along K Street near the White House at lunchtime on a work day and a man was standing in the middle of the sidewalk. As I approached, I saw him harassing a woman–I thought just for change. She passed me and then I got closer to him. He blocked my path and said “help the homeless?” Usually I smile and say “sorry”–I did this, but couldn’t help but see his penis sticking out of his jeans. Now I’m annoyed that I smiled before I saw this. Gross! At least I was able to pass by and he didn’t follow me. I guess he knew since it was a busy street at lunch time there would be plenty more women to expose himself to.

Submitted by Kate on 12/17/2010

Location: K Street NW between 16th and 15th

Time of harassment: Day Time (9:30A-3:30P)

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.

He slapped. My ass.

It was my second day in DC. I was already frustrated, having moved to a new city with no job and no functioning computer. That’s why I was in Columbia Heights. I had just dropped of my laptop at Best Buy, and was walking to back to the metro. As I approached the metro stop, I noticed a man walking towards me. I assumed he would say something stupid and then continue on his way. But oh no, that wasn’t all.

He slapped. My ass.

And that’s when I went into a blind rage. I started hitting him back with my empty laptop case that I luckily had been holding. Any ways, he got scared and ran away, with me screaming at him in the background.

I couldn’t believe this had happened to me. Seriously? In broad daylight!! I was livid. I don’t know if I’m proud of the way I reacted. But I sure hope that jerk learned his lesson and never tries to pull a stunt like that again.

Submitted by amz on 12/16/2010

Location:Columbia Heights

Time of Harassment: Day Time (9:30A-3:30P)

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.

“Exuse me Ms.”

As I’m walking towards the crosswalk to cross the street, the light changes, not in my favor. Two men are standing there (one older than the other). The older man says, “Excuse me Ms., my friend said you look like a teenager, how old are you?” I smile and say “I’m not in my teens,” as I wait for the light to change.” After a few moments of them leaving me alone, the older man comes and stands next to me and says, “So, do you have a boyfriend?” I say, “Yes.” The light changed and I begin to cross the street. He (older man) goes on to shout from across the street, “No you don’t, you’re lying. Why are you lying to me?” He then continues to shout across the road, as I am walking through the alley to my car. He actually followed my walking path as he was continuously shouted, “You’re lying, you don’t have a boyfriend. Can I take you out?” Although he remained across the street, the fact that he followed my path and continued shouting was simply too much!!

Submitted by KL on 12/15/2010

Location: 14th and R Street NW

Time of Harassment: Day Time (9:30A-3:30P)

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.

Before I Knew How to Stand Up to Harassers

Photo by fsse8info via flickr

These stories are from when I first moved to the DC area over five years ago. The first year I lived here I lived in Alexandria. This was before I knew how to truly stand up to harassers and I wasn’t used to being harassed on a frequent basis.

In the first case, I was walking up S. Pickett Street and heading towards the Beatley Library. This guy in a powder blue pickup truck stopped at a light near the Trade Center Shopping Center and started yelling crap at me. It was the usual—“Girl, can I talk to you?”, “Got a man?” and other bullshit. I tried to ignore him. I thought that he would’ve left me alone when the light changed, but he didn’t! He sat there and blocked traffic at a green light. Honking horns and angry drivers did nothing to make him keep driving.

I told him “Stop worrying about what I’m doing and pay attention to the road! You’ve got a green light—DRIVE!”

Like a typical harasser he assumed my not wanting to talk to him meant I was angry at men. When I tried to keep walking this guy slowed his truck down to my pace. I realized he wasn’t going to leave me alone so I called the police and gave them his license plate number.

“You ain’t callin’ the police!” he yells. “You callin’ yo’ boyfriend. Let yo’ boyfriend come after me!”

When he got tired of bothering me he finally drove off, and of course nothing came out of my call to the police.
Continue reading

Groped by a Guy on a Bike

On Thursday December 2, 2010 at approximately 6:30 pm, I was running west on Lee Highway, toward the George Mason intersection, when a male on a bicycle came up behind me and grabbed my butt. He was wearing dark clothing, perhaps a black puffy coat, and unfortunately that’s all I noticed of him as he rode by me. I believe he was the same person on a bike who I ran past a few minutes earlier, in which case he is younger (teens to 30s) and of smaller build. It was most disconcerting to me that the guy did this on a major street, during one of the busiest times of the day.

Submitted by Camille on 12/10/2010

Location: Lee Highway and N Glebe Rd

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.