Transit assault

Studies show that sexual harassment on buses and trains, and at bus stops and train stations is a common experience for many transit passengers, especially among young women and other vulnerable populations including people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+, seniors and adolescents. Most victims and bystanders do not report these crimes, and many transit agencies do not ask passengers about them. However, sexual harassment reduces essential mobility for some community members, and creates fear and discomfort when using transit for at least half of all transit riders. Surveys report that from one quarter to one third of riders consider sexual harassment to be a significant problem and that sexual harassment prevents them from using transit more often.

Sexual harassment offenses fall into three categories: verbal, non-verbal, and physical. Verbal offenses include sexual comments, kissing noises, whistling, or even being asked to have sex. Non-verbal harassment includes indecent exposure, being shown pornographic images, and stalking. Physical harassment includes groping a person’s body or playing with her hair, unwanted kissing, as well as the most serious crimes of sexual assault and rape. Advocates say our Transportation Department needs to collect more data on harassment, analyze public spaces for potential safety improvements, and possibly include real-time harassment information alongside bus arrival times.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of H.R.5706 - Stop Sexual Assault and Harassment in Transportation Act (117th Congress 2021-2022)
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR)

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Poll Opening Date
May 22, 2023
Poll Closing Date
May 28, 2023

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