Washington, DC Introduces Legislation to Combat Metro Harassment

Cross-posted from Stop Street Harassment

Holly Kearl, Chai Shenoy, Council Member Muriel Bowser, Ben Merrion (Image from Stop Street Harassment)

According to fellow anti-street harassment blog, Stop Street Harassment, new legislation proposed yesterday by Councilwoman Muriel Bowser will make it easier for police to apprehend accused public masturbators and flashers on DC’s transport system. If the bill is passed it means that the perpetrators of such crimes are more likely to face a penalty.

The Washington Examiner reported that the legislation will lower standards for officers to arrest individuals for indecent exposure, bringing D.C in line with procedures in Maryland and Virginia. The bill will enable police to make arrests based on enough circumstantial evidence.

The WMATA are addressing the issue thanks to pressure from Collective Action for Safe Spaces, who have been imploring the organization to do more about sexual harassment and assault on the area’s transport system. The team testified in February before D.C. City Council catching the attention of Ward 4 Council Member Muriel Bowser.

Holly Kearl of Stop Street Harassment out lined the next steps for the bill on her blog:

“The bill has been referred to Council Member Mendelson’s Committee on the Judiciary. They need to hold a hearing and then vote on it in a separate mark-up hearing. The full Council then has to vote on it twice to be submitted to the Mayor for signature.”

So here’s a big Hollaback! shout out to Councilmember Bowser for taking notice and doing something awesome. You Rock!

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