‘He actually spat on me' | Push to stop street harassment in DC

Women are sharing their stories about sexual harassment and assault, after the hashtag 'Me Too' went viral earlier this week.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Women are sharing their stories about sexual harassment and assault after the hashtag ‘Me Too’ went viral.

One DC councilmember is working to do something about it by tackling harassment on the streets.

Some women in the district said they are constantly harassed by men catcalling and objectifying their bodies.

“Pretty lady. Talk about your body parts. Anything,” Sheila Stewart said.

“They comment on my outfits or other parts of my body,” Lauren Farriggia recalled.

“It's usually like expletives. I wouldn't repeat it on camera,” Johanna Jenkins said.

Women told WUSA9 the comment made them feel uncomfortable, nervous, and “a little scared.”

“The first reaction is always ‘oh gosh.’ Then the second is anger and frustration,” DC Councilmember Brianne Nadeau said.

She is a victim of street harassment, too.

“When I said 'no, I don't give my number to strangers' he actually spat on me,” Nadeau said.

Nadeau is working to pass the Street Harassment Prevention Act.

It will tackle education, training, and build a task force to study and collect data on the issue.

The information would then be advertised to city employees and the public.

The legislation has already gone through discussions and hearings.

It is now in the final stages before the full council votes on it.

“We want to make it unacceptable everywhere,” Nadeau said. “We want people to understand what to do when it happens, how to prevent it, and how to help someone who has been a victim of it.”

“I think shifts in culture and tolerance are definitely something that might create change,” Jenkins said.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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