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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Call 311 for a Pothole or a Penis

A woman saw a man masturbating on the subway, snapped his pic, and took it to the police. Problem solved, right? Not at all. They told her to submit it to 311, the city's information hotline. Considering that according to a 2007 report, 10% of riders are assaulted and only 14% ever report it, this news is no less than tragic. This woman took a leap of faith, only to be shot down. How are we ever supposed to end harassment and assault on the subways if the authorities are insistent on pretending it doesn't matter?

From the Metro New York:
“It’s an ongoing problem of the police showing insensitivity to harassment, lewdness and violence against women on subways,” said Emily May, co-founder of Hollaback NYC, which encourages people to post images of their harassers. “It discourages women from reporting.”
Kudos to the woman who took the picture and filed the complaint. The city needs more heroines like her. As for the police, better protocols and some sensitivity training are in order.