“I’ve seen this harassment dozens of times!”

I’ve seen the following type of street harassment happen dozens of times in Adams Morgan. A few weeks ago, it finally happened to me.

The scene: Adams Morgan late night, from 10pm onward.

The players: Groups of four or more men loitering, sitting on their cars, and otherwise “hanging out” in the street. Typical activities include picking fights with men and sexually harassing women.

Also starring: Women walking on 18th Street.

The plot: The group separates a woman from her companions while one man grabs her elbow from behind. Dialogue includes, “Hey, hey, hey”, “Come here,” and “Where you going?”

In my case, I saw this stunt pulled on a woman walking ahead of me. Rejected, I was the next target. A prime candidate, because I was already walking alone.

My reaction: A big, loud, “F#$% you! Get off me!”

I’m still angry about this. The very presumption to grab a person, like they owed you something, makes my skin crawl and grates me. And, although there is an exceptional police presence in Adams Morgan on nights like this, there’s nothing the cops would or could do about this situation.

In fact, I recently saw a group of Guardian Angels in Adams Morgan in the evening. Too bad they didn’t budge from the police van outside Heaven and Hell and made a point to not engage with the people walking past in the street. Even when things got heated and it would have been useful to have someone hold people accountable.

Submitted by AD

Location: 18th & Florida Ave

Time of harassment:  Late Night (12A-5A)

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.

2 responses to ““I’ve seen this harassment dozens of times!”

  1. Ugh! Harassment in Adams Morgan is out of control. Whether they were the quintessential drunken frat douchebags stumbling out of bars or locals hanging out on the street, these men would harass and cause trouble. I stopped going there at night years ago because it got to be too much.

    I agree with you that the police, Guardian Angels, and others in a position of ensuring safety need to take more action in that area.

  2. I had this exact thing happen to me on the sidewalk in front of Madams Organ – I was walking fast, clearly on my way somewhere (home) with headphones on, and in no way telegraphing any interest in engagement with the row of guys hanging out outside. One guy said “Hello beautiful” and when I kept walking past him, he grabbed my elbow to force me to stop and talk to him. I just broke free and kept walking but fumed the whole way home. What an asshole. Good for you for shouting back.

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