Women stand up to cat-calling in the District

The debate centers around one street corner where slaves were bought and sold.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -

Schyla Pondexter-Moore is over the obscene. She is unemployed and visits a community table in Washington's Ward 8 every month. She says every time—without fail—the hot meal comes with an unwanted side: cat-calls.

"You got a fat a** or can I holler at you," is what Pondexter-Moore told WUSA9 she heard shouted at her 16-year-old daughter Cairo on July 23.

"It's bad everywhere," she said. "It's not even just here but the whole city."

The story skyrocketed on social media after a photo surfaced of Ward 8 Councilman Trayon White with the alleged cat-callers.

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At a rally against "street harassment" Wednesday night, White heard the anger himself.

"I'm in the community everyday," said White, adding the photo was taken during the winter time and not related to the July 23 incident. "I don't take it personally."

Those who rallied are also supporting a petition for a Street Harassment Protection Act in the District. It would create an advisory committee on cat-calling and fund new programs to stop it. Councilman White told WUSA9 he will introduce legislation so women feel safer.

"This isn't just some small group of women who care about this," said co-organizer Aja Tailor. "There all kinds of women who care about black women being safe."

With new demands for city leaders, victims of cat-calling say it's time for a new approach.

"Every time something happens to black men, everybody's out in the streets," said Pondexter-Moore. "But when it comes to black women being protected its silence and crickets."

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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