Home Asides Link: The anxiety of a subway groping attack

Link: The anxiety of a subway groping attack

by Benjamin Kabak

As part of its ongoing look at anxiety and the way we live, The New York Times has published a piece by Kimberly Matus about being a subway groping victim, and it is a must-read for New Yorkers. While the focus on underground crime tends to coalesce around reported thefts of electronics and handheld devices, groping is a far bigger concern for many law enforcement officials as these crimes are rampant and often go unreported.

Matus, in her piece, discusses her experiences on a very crowded train, how undercover officers spotted the groping and were able to arrest the perp and how the incident left her fearful of future subway rides. It’s not always as clean and simple as that. From those who flash women in the subways to lewd comments to inappropriate touching, this behavior is rampant and unacceptable. It can lead to concerns over personal safety and fears over riding the subway. Absent an aggressive targeted campaign of enforcement efforts, the subways remain a hotbed for these types of sexual assaults. [The New York Times]

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9 comments

Flatbush Depot May 13, 2013 - 7:19 pm

If somebody wants to do something about women being inappropriately touched on the subway, please inform me and I will provide my e-mail address. I really want to do something about it too. A movement against these atrocities needs to be started.

This is why I stay alert at all times. When I ride the subway or bus I always look around the car periodically to make sure no misconduct is occurring. I have yet to witness gross sexual misconduct, but if I do I will report it.

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Flatbush Depot May 13, 2013 - 7:37 pm

I was searching the internet for petitions related to sexual misconduct on the subway but could not find any that are currently active. My heart sank. I do not think a petition is enough though. Laws need to be changed in light of some of the real crap that has happened (gropers getting insufficient punishments) over the years, but also there need to be public awareness campaigns and gropers’ pictures need to be posted in the subway system.

An organization needs to be created. People who are interested should meet to discuss these problems and solutions and agree on what mission this organization should have. We need to unite behind this cause. I would like to start such an organization, but I am a male and it may be better for a female to lead the organization..thoughts? Again those who are interested please let me know and I will provide my e-mail address. I want no woman to be afraid to ride the subway.

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AMM May 13, 2013 - 7:52 pm

> An organization needs to be created.

Try http://nyc.ihollaback.org/

Cf.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holla_Back

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Flatbush Depot May 13, 2013 - 8:02 pm

Thank you.

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Flatbush Depot May 13, 2013 - 8:09 pm

Although it does not focus enough on inappropriate touching or sexual misconduct on the subway. Do you know of any organizations that focus specifically on inappropriate touching or sexual misconduct in the subway?

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Alon Levy May 14, 2013 - 1:53 am

You’re right that that’s not Hollaback’s focus, but Hollaback’s focus is similar enough that it’s a natural organization to take the lead in these efforts.

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Flatbush Depot May 14, 2013 - 9:32 am

That is not good enough. Hollaback is there to fight all kinds of harassment women experience in public when something needs to be done about women being inappropriately touched in crowded, confined spaces such as trains.

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Flatbush Depot May 13, 2013 - 8:00 pm

Does anybody know if this happens on buses by the way? If it does, how often?

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Rob May 13, 2013 - 10:36 pm

I have witnessed a groping in the middle of a crowded Grand Central Station, and it happened so fast that the perp just blended into the crowd. And then someone closely related to me was sexually assaulted by a guy using his hand.

In the latter case — just a few weeks ago — the police made it very inconvenient for her. She works long hours on per diem and can’t miss work during 9-5, but NYPD said only a cop working 9-5 could help her. And you would think the subway stations would have recording cameras to ID the guy, but no such luck. So much for Big Brother when you need him.

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