Periodically, we meet with the sexual harassment taskforce at WMATA to discuss the campaign and next steps, etc. Today was one of those meetings, with myself, four WMATA staff members, and CASS’s interim executive director Jessica Raven.
For a status update on what the campaign currently entails:
* A second wave of anti-harassment ads are up across the system.
* More trainings are underway to ensure that all 4000 front line employees know what to do if they witness or experience street harassment or if someone reports an incident to them.
* There is an online reporting form that makes it easier to report incidents.
* We jointly hold annual outreach days, distributing materials at metro stations during International Anti-Street Harassment Week. This year, we were at five metro stations across VA, DC and MD.
I am excited that today at our meeting, WMATA committed to a third wave of ads next year. They will survey riders before the end of this year to better understand their experiences with harassment and their feelings about the first and second waves of ads, and ask for their thoughts for the next wave. We discussed having a message focused on bystanders and/or the community-of riders generally, but we will see what riders have to say.
WMATA wants to collaborate on four flyering/outreach events at Metro stations in 2016: 1) during Anti-Street Harassment Week in April, 2) mid-summer, 3) around the back-to-school time, and 4) on December 10 for Human Rights Day.
We discussed a few other ways that we may collaborate to help spread the word about the campaign among WMATA staff and the larger Metro-area community. More on those ideas when they are solidified.
All in all, it was a productive meeting.
I am so proud and happy every time I see one of the Metro ads (and on my metro ride to/from the meeting I saw two different ones), not only because I am part of the campaign, but also because I feel great pride in knowing that my city takes this issue seriously and is expending significant time, resources, and staff power to help people feel safer on public transit. Thank you, WMATA!
Also of note –
* The history of how our collaboration came about is featured in my new book Stop Global Street Harassment: Growing Activism Around the World.
* If you’re in the DC-area, join WMATA, CASS, Defend Yourself, the DC Rape Crisis Center, and SSH staff and many community members in testifying about street harassment before the DC City Council next week, Dec. 3.
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