Wednesday, March 23, 2011

GOOD NEWS: MTA Modifies Sexual Assault Announcements to Reflect Bystander Responsibility

The following announcement is from Assemblymember Glick in NYC, whose office helped me personally when I was working to propose and create the CUNY-wide-sexual-assault policy for all half-a-million students.

N. Jerin Arifa
National NOW Board of Directors
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
National Organization for Women (NOW)

For more information please contact Matt Borden, Chief of Staff, 212-674-5153

Assemblymember Glick Successfully Lobbies MTA to Change Sexual Assault Announcements
I am proud to announce that I have successfully lobbied the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to change its subway announcements regarding sexual harassment. Until now, subway announcements informed the public that sexual harassment is a crime and that victims of such a crime should report incidents to the police, thus placing responsibility for such incidents only on the victims. Considering that the MTA's prides itself on its "See Something, Say Something," campaign, I asked that the announcement regarding sexual harassment reflect a similar sentiment. The burden of reporting sexual harassment shouldn't alone fall on the shoulders of victims and I am happy to report that it no longer will. I have been informed that the new announcement will be as follows:
 "Ladies and gentlemen. A crowded subway is no defense to unlawful sexual conduct. If you believe that you have been the victim of a crime, or witness to a crime, notify an MTA Employee or Police Officer."
Once the announcement has been modified, lab tested, and field tested, it will be rolled out systemwide.
 This is a small but important step in changing the antiquated thinking on sexual harassment. I am thankful to the MTA and especially its President Thomas F. Prendergast for making such an enlightened decision. Sexual harassment is a serious crime that is everyone's responsibility. Urging civic participation by witnesses is an important aspect of promoting the ideal of a greater good in which all individuals have a stake.


blog said...

Amazing work Jerin! You are a superstar!

Jerin said...

Wish I could take credit, but this was the work of Assemblymember Glick and others. I will convey your thanks to her office.

Anonymous said...

fyi, i was victim to sexual harassment on the train, and when i told an mta employee (AS INSTRUCTED), he shrugged and said, "there's nothing i can do."

Jerin said...

That is horrible. I am so sorry. Would you want to report this?