One of Metro's new PSAs (Photo via aliciasanchez)
I’ve been working with Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) and WMATA on the campaign to combat sexual misconduct in the Metro system and wanted to share an update with you.Other items:
WMATA formed a task force and is working with CASS (formerly Hollaback DC) to address the problem. They recorded my story and others’ to use as part of a training video for their employees, are working with outside groups to develop meaningful training for all WMATA employees, and are crafting a station announcement.
Public service announcement posters regarding sexual misconduct are rolling out, so you should start seeing them in the rail stations, and they’ll be going out on buses soon. There have been some issues along the way, as evidenced by a woman’s report that seemingly fell through the cracks (This particular instance was addressed.).
Moving forward, we hope to see evidence that WMATA views the issue of sexual misconduct as a passenger safety issue, whether or not the media is present to cover it, and continues to follow through with the changes they have promised.
Foremost on that list is creating and implementing a solid training program for all WMATA and MTPD employees. Also important is continuing to build a meaningful partnership between WMATA and CASS.
Metro riders are the strongest asset in this campaign. Here’s what you can do to help:
1) Whether you’re a victim or a bystander, please report what you see and experience. Tracking ALL harassment and assault allows WMATA to find patterns and better distribute the MTPD officers.
2) A good description can mean the difference between a statistic and an arrest. Height, weight, eye color, skin color, hair color are all good. Also look for things that stick out: tattoos, scars, distinctive clothing, the way a person moves or talks, hairstyles, facial hair, jewelry, glasses, etc. What makes this person different from all the other thousands of people riding Metro? Photos can help, but be careful not to escalate the situation or to give a thief access to your electronics.
Please pass this information to other riders, and share what you see with both WMATA and CASS. We don't want sexual assaults and harassment to be swept under the rug.
As someone who was assaulted on the Metro, I can’t tell you how important it is to make these reports and to watch out for your fellow riders.
Thanks to those who step in when you see someone in trouble.
(202) 962-2121, (or 911 for immediate emergencies)
More track work (WMATA)
How Metro maps are printed (Tumblr)