Monthly Archives: February 2011

“I walked past the man and saw that he was masturbating.”

I was walking to work around 8.30 AM a few weeks ago and saw a guy leaning against a tree opposite a church. He was looking over his shoulders as if he was waiting for someone. My instinct told me to cross the street but I asked myself “what could he possibly do to me on a residential street on a weekday morning?” Clearly, like so many women, I should have listened to my instinct. I walked past the man and saw that he was masturbating.

More than anything else the incident made me angry. Angry because his desire to expose himself in public like that is a reflection of the power that men still have over women in our society. Angry because he was doing this opposite a church that kids pass to go to school every day. Angry because I felt that I could not do anything to make him stop. Despite me considering myself being an “empowered” woman, I kept on walking to work and did not call the police. I found it interesting that almost every single woman I told had experienced this AND in different parts of the world. I also read a blog entry that describes what I think is the same guy and have since reported the incident to the police!

Submitted by anonymous on 2/18/2011

Location: New Hamphire between W & V, NW

Time of Harassment: Morning Rush Hour (5A-9:30A)

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.

A Valentine’s Day Success

Photo by by plasticrevolver via flickr

This post has a positive outcome that I wanted to share with you! I’ve been a long time patron and friend of the Black Cat, but there is a guy that has come for years specifically to harass young, intoxicated women (no power issue there huh??) He is a stout middle-aged man with wire-framed glasses and a mustache. He gets really close to women ordering/waiting to order at the bar and offers to buy a drink and then gropes you until you either walk away or yell at him or get him escorted out. I’ve had him kicked out on more than one occasion, he’s notorious, and for whatever reason he hasn’t been banned for life.

Anyways, last night was Valentine’s day, and myself and my valentine wanted to have a nightcap and see friends. Low and behold guess who is by himself at a bar at midnight on Valentine’s Day trying to grope women? The scum immediately attempted such with my friend and I quickly intercepted as soon as I saw his hand grab her back and arms as he disgustingly leaned in close to proposition her or whatever he spends his pervy time doing. It’s scary to confront a harasser, but I was not about to let him do that to my friend! I told her to stay away from him and escorted her to our table where she thanked me for intercepting his hands (without even knowing his history.) the perp proceeded to mug my partner and I and smile over at us for the rest of the night until he was about to go, and tried to confront me- or rather insult me to my male partner because he clearly didn’t have enough respect for me to look me in the eye to spit drunken BS. My partner and I both argued with him to leave immediately and made sure he did- it took me standing up in his face- thankfully my heels made me out to be taller than I am- intimidating him to GET OUT NOW.

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“Don’t follow me!”

Classic case of a man being terrifying while insisting he isn’t. There was a man waiting at a bus stop as I walked past. As I approached, he turned to face me and started walking backward so he could stare at me. I ignored him. When I got about even with him, he kept walking backward, and said, “How you doin’?” When I didn’t answer, he started repeating himself over and over. Finally I said, “I don’t like it when men I don’t know talk to me, so fuck off.”

He started yelling, “What’s all this about fuck off! I’m just being friendly!”

Me: Yeah, well, a lot of guys aren’t friendly, so don’t talk to me!

[at this point, he is yelling and following me, at a distance of about ten feet, as I continue down the street]

Him: You got no right to curse at me when I’m being friendly!

Me: Yeah, well, I been through a lot of shit with creepy guys following me, so even if you’re not creepy, leave me alone!

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“Will you marry me?”

I was walking home and a group of about 5 twenty something men were walking down the sidewalk in the other direction. As I get closer one of them says, “Hey, baby. Will you marry me?” A couple of them start snickering. I keep walking fast past them, but was too scared to say anything with so many of them. I was fuming for hours.

Submitted by h

Location: Calvert St & Adams Mill Rd.

Time of harassment: Evening Rush Hour (3:30P-7:30P)

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.

“But it’s my birthday.”

Photo by Like_The_Grand_Canyon via flickr

Unfortunately, this is the 2nd story that I am submitting. I had just gotten a 2-hour-long root canal done in Old Town Alexandria and had metroed home to the U Street stop. I obviously a) didn’t look great, bundled up after a huge snow and my face swollen and b) didn’t want to speak with anyone.

I was walking home from the metro down 13th Street towards V, when I passed by the church on the lefthand side of the road. There were two men outside shoveling the sidewalk. The stopped shoveling to let me pass, and I smiled as best as I could at them as a thank you. One of the men said “Hey, you gotta cigarette I can have?” and I shook my head no. He then asked me if I had a phone, if he could call me sometime, that it was his 45th birthday that day, come on, can’t he call me? As I passed by him, I mumbled about meeting my husband at home (as he was just arriving from work that he couldn’t miss, but leaving early to come home and help take care of me). The guy said “Fine, and f**k you too, bitch!”

Submitted by JK

Location: 13th Street NW between U and V

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.

Let’s Make DC a Safer City

Do you want to work to make the neighborhoods you live and work in safer for women and LGBTQ individuals? Are you passionate about ending public sexual harassment? Do you want to be part of a history making event here in DC? If your answer is “yes!” to all three of those questions then we want you to join our Community Safety Audit team.

We are excited to announce that we have joined forces with Holly from Stop Street Harassment to conduct the FIRST EVER Community Safety Audit in DC. Community Safety Audits have been done since 1989 by people in cities across Canada and internationally in cities like Delhi, Cairo, and Tanzania. Our audit is adapted from the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence against Women & Children (METRAC) audit used in Toronto and outcomes will be used to make recommendations to the DC City Council and other local decision-makers.  In April (date TBD) we will announce those asks at an anti-street harassment rally, which we hope will lead to the first ever DC City Council hearing on street harassment!

This first Audit will be conducted on the first annual Anti-Street Harassment Day, which also happens to be the first day of Spring, Sunday, March 20.  The second Audit will be held in the evening on Wednesday, March 23.

In order to have the most successful audit we need 80 volunteers. So sign up and ask your friends, neighbors, family, and co-workers to sign up to0.

As a community we have the power to work collectively to make DC safer for everyone. Let’s make it happen!


Masturbater on the Red Line

photo by chrisbb via flickr

I was taking taking the metro home from a concert alone late on a Sunday night it was about 11:30pm when I walked to the Union Station platform and trying to find a bench to sit on for the 20 minute train wait. When I finally found the side of a bench not full of people, I noticed this homeless man I had seen up by the gates had fallowed me down to the platform, the other side was full of people reading books or tuned into their  iPod. There was one younger woman sitting next to me, like me she had noticed the homeless man now circling the bench oggleing both of us and every now and then reaching down to his crotch and adjusting or felling himself, I deiced to ignore it hopeful he would stop. Then he left when a WMATA cop came round.

Then both trains came she got in one side, I in the other thinking the homeless man was gone.  Then I set down and look out the window only to find the man getting ready to sit in the handicap side when I looked away. I also then realized that I was the only other person in the car. As he set down he stuck his hand in his pants and pulled himself out and I tough eww he going to try to flash me; but no he had other intentions and he started to masturbate. I immediately moved to the other side of the car and switched cars at the nest stop. Then I got off to switch trains at Chinatown, I freaked he was going to follow me I saw him stand up hand down his pants but I guess there were to many people on the platform for him to be happy at the idea. I had no clue who to report it to I have been riding metro for almost all my life and that was the first time I have ever had that happen to me.

Submitted by anonymous

Location: Union station to  metro Center (Red Line)

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.