The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (DC) is launching a public awareness campaign to combat sexual harassment of customers while they are using the system. The first phase of the campaign includes an online tool at www.wmata.com/harassment that will allow customers to report incidents anonymously.
Customers who feel they were sexually harassed, or those who witness an incident, can use the online tool to report the circumstances directly to Metro Transit Police for follow-up action. The website describes harassment as “unwanted sexual behavior, such as extended leering, sexual comments, indecent exposure, stalking, and groping.” Metro also established an email address to allow individuals to send photo or video files to assist an investigation.
Metro will also be distributing posters and other materials in English and Spanish across the system to raise awareness of the issue. The posters are based on an award-winning campaign created by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which agreed to license the campaign materials to Metro at no cost. “This purpose of this outreach is to let people know that it’s not okay to sexually harass people on Metro,” said general manager and CEO Richard Sarles in a statement. “We are encouraging anyone who may be harassed to report the incident to Metro Transit Police, and we appreciate the support of the advocacy groups in getting our message out into the communities we serve.”
Image source: WMATA