Tag Archives: WMATA

Human Rights Violation

I was doing my morning run up Massachusetts and the driver of an N-line bus honked at me 5 times while I ran on the sidewalk. I looked around, there were no other cars or people he could have been honking about. Gender-based street harassment by a District employee violates DC’s Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination of all kinds. I reported it to Councilmember Muriel Bowser, who chairs the Transportation Committee and sits on the WMATA board.

Submitted by anonymous

Location: Massachusetts Ave NW & 34th St 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.

Harassed and Assaulted by Metro Police

This altercation with the Metro Transit Police occurred on July 1, 2011 at about 9:30pm at the Verizon center/Chinatown Metro on the entrance across the street from Rosa Mexicana on 7th & F st in Washington, DC.

The incident began when one of my friend’s metrocard was not working due to it being demagnetized, and I was trying to explain to the metro attendant, along with one of the Metro transit police.

After they chose to ignore my explanation I made the comment

“This is why nobody respects DC police, look at what they are doing to these guys” because at this time some of the officers had three gentleman detained and searching them.

Ana's arm after after the incident.

At this point my friend was coming back from getting her metro card, and my friend and I were walking towards the escalators to the metro.  After this, before I knew it I had a metro transit officer walking briskly towards me.  He grabs me, and eventually pins me to the ground.  He gets me up and handcuffs me.  For the next 45 minutes I am interrogated by four officers, including an undercover female sergeant who was held back by other officers from me while I was handcuffed.  The officer that assaulted me ran my information and then let my friends and me go home.   He also stated, that the female sergeant wanted to arrest me, but he told her that “I had a child so I had to go home,” which is not true.

The next day I woke up to bruises and pain on my torso, and all of my limbs.

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Metro Employee Encouraging Harassment

I got on the 96 bus heading West at U Street NW and 11 Street NW on Saturday, June 4, just before midnight. It was bus number 4299 (license plate B 37486). I didn’t get the driver’s name, but she was a black woman.

As I got on, I noticed the bus driver and a few other passengers yelling insults at a woman getting off the bus, who was visibly upset. I’ve seen a lot of confrontations on DC buses, so I wasn’t paying too much attention at first and don’t remember exactly what was said. It was clear, however, that the bus driver and two or three passengers sitting at the front of the bus (two men and a woman) were ganging up on her in their insults.

When the bus started moving, very slowly given the U Street traffic, I soon realized that the two men who had been yelling at the woman were continuously sticking their heads out the window and yelling remarks at women who were walking by on U Street and comment about their clothing and body types. Some of the women ignored them, while at least one yelled back and told them to stop.

The worst part was that the bus driver was actively encouraging the men and laughing at the remarks. The situation made me extremely uncomfortable and I didn’t know what to do. After 2-3 minutes, I yelled at one of the men to show some respect, immediately signaled to get off, got off at 14th street and walked the rest of the way to my destination. While I was walking, the bus passed and I observed the men continue to yell remarks at passing women.

It is one thing to observe this kind of harassment–it is another to have a Metro employee encourage the behavior while on the job. It was extremely unprofessional and I demand that Metro identify the employee and take disciplinary action against her. Washington DC’s women deserve better while riding on public transit.

Submitted by GH

Location: 96 Bus (#4299)

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.

Another Case of Upskirting

Photo by jquiq99 via flickr

I was exiting the Waterfront Metro station and  was riding up the 2nd escalator, that takes you to the street, and I noticed a man standing very close to me, on the next step down on the escalator. I took a step up, and he did as well. I felt something graze my inner thigh and turned around quickly. He had his arm reached out under my skirt and was snapping a picture.

Submitted by Anonymous

Location: Waterfront Metro

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.

Metro Employees that “Holla”

I have a general experience that I would like to share. It is in regards to metro employees. I would like to know why many metro employees are highly unprofessional.

My experience has been that maybe metro male employees will not hesitate to harass, follow, and try to ‘holla’ at female passengers. Why is this okay and what kind of screening does metro do to select their employees? I had a particularly bad experience with one metro employee in particular. This guy basically got upset and screamed at me in front of other metro customers because I wouldn’t give him the type of attention that he wanted. He stated something about how ‘I will be treated how my attitude is’. Can you imagine?

I wrote in a complaint only for metro to tell me that I waited to long to submit my complaint. I think that was just an excuse for them to not have to deal with his behavior because I gave them all the information that they would have needed to identify hi m. It’s wrong because metro riders use their money to ride the train and the last thing needed is insecure male employees using metro as their ‘hunting ground’ to harass women. What kind of foolishness is this? And the sad thing is that metro isn’t even embarassed by the unprofessional people they have working for them! This is just a prime example of how males constantly get away with bad behavior.

Submitted by anonymous

Location: Metro

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.

Men at Work

Photo by uzvards via flickr

I was harassed by not one, not two, but THREE men! The worst of all is that these men were all on the clock in some way, shape or form. The first incident was a Metro Access driver who beeped at me. I knew the beep was addressed to me since there was no other traffic on the street at the time.

While I didn’t see his face, I got his license plate: DC plate B 43034. Where do they get these Metro Access drivers from?! They seem to be nothing but trouble. The second was a guy in a green pick up truck. He beeps at me, and reflexively I look (why did I look?) then he waves at me. I was furious. The second damn beep within a 5-10 minute period. I yelled at him to leave me alone and take that shit elsewhere.

I didn’t get the license plate (I saw this was also a DC vehicle), but I got a phone number on a bumper sticker (Electrician? Call 202-669-1170). I looked up the number online and all I got was random reverse phone number sites. Later in the evening, I was harassed by a guy who was either a cop or a security guard. I got the feeling he would do/say something, but I didn’t want to change my direction. I kept walking, and while he was doing something (it looked like he was directing traffic that didn’t exist), he says “Howya doin’, baby?” in that sexual tone. Gross.

I didn’t want to say anything for fear that he’d abuse his authority and arrest me for talking back, so I rolled my eyes and kept on walking. It was such a warm, pleasant day, but dealing with men harassing me (harassing while at work, to boot!) was unpleasant.

Submitted by anonymous

Location:0th & Daniel Street; 10th at Fillmore & Washington Blvd; Fairfax Drive between Monroe and Nelson, Arlington, VA

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.

“Like chocolate and peanut butter”

I was getting on the escalator to the fare-gates from the yellow/green line platform. A young woman and man got on the elevator slightly behind me. At first I thought they were traveling together; they were having a conversation.

I heard the young man said something about, “They just go together, like chocolate and peanut butter.” The young woman muttered a reply. The man continued, “You know, like Reese’s? The peanut butter cups? You like those?”

The young woman replied, in a voice that seemed to me to be shaking with nerves, “I don’t like MEN.” At this point, I decided they didn’t know each other, and he’d been hitting on her for some time, at least long enough for her to be nervous. I began to consider if I should say something. I know if I were her, I would want someone to say something.

The man was undeterred, “You don’t like men? You been hurt?” At this point the woman was trying to walk past him, but he was following her. She repeated, “I don’t like men.”
As he tried to walk past me, I turned to him and said, “Leave her alone if she doesn’t want to talk to you.”

At this point we were at the top of the escalator, and the woman walked quickly away towards the red line platform. The man followed me to the fare gates, and as I passed through, he said, “Ma’am, you really ought to mind your own business. You really should.”

This little piss-ant was threatening me for stepping on his game. Fuck that. “You really should mind your own business too,” I said, then walked quickly away.

My only regret is that I didn’t drive the point home by saying, “Women on the metro don’t exist for your convenience or gratification. If a woman doesn’t want to talk to you, mind your own damn business.” Never can think of the perfect thing to say at the time. Oh well, at least I said something.I was getting on the elevator to the fare-gates from the yellow/green line platform. A young woman and man got on the elevator slightly behind me. At first I thought they were traveling together; they were having a conversation.

Submitted by K

Location: Chinatown Metro

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.