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Metro Taking Steps To Make Women Feel Safer

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Women are concerned for their safety in the Metro system.
Scott Pitocco:
Women are concerned for their safety in the Metro system.

Metro is taking steps to make trains and buses safer for riders after complaints from victims of sexual harassment. Some women would like to see more security, because they report being stared at, groped, subjected to sexual comments, or even occasionally followed by strangers in the Metro.

It's a busy transit system in a big city, and incidents are not uncommon. Just ask any woman on the train.

"I was walking down the street and trying to get on the train and there was a guy who followed me, went after me," says one woman, who wished to remain anonymous. "He followed me from the street. And I went downstairs and I got so scared."

Another woman describes an incident she saw second-hand: "This one guy came up to this girl and tried to take her, basically just grab her. She slapped him and walked away. Stuff like that happens."

Jackie McKinney says it’s often part of commuting: “After a certain point you get used to it and ignore it.”

Metro is trying to do something about this by increasing patrols on buses and trains. It has created an email address to report incidents. 

One 17-year-old girl thinks women might be part of the problem: "They kind of bring it upon themselves because of what they are wearing.  Like they might be wearing too short of a skirt or something that is just really revealing."

Most women I talked to don't agree with her. Even so, there may be little that can be done about rude comments, but women say there should be more police officers present.

"I'm surprised there is not more security on the trains," says one Metro rider. "You never see any officers at the stations or on the trains themselves." 

One woman says the surest way to avoid unwanted remarks about your appearance is to keep earplugs in the whole way home.


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