Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Street Harassment is NOT Okay!

Have you ever experienced being groped or harassed while on public transit, in a crowd or maybe even just walking down a sidewalk in broad daylight?  If so, did you report it?

Sadly, many victims of harassment are hesitant to report their harassers either because they are difficult to identify (in a crowd or in the dark), because they are ashamed, because they feel it is unsafe, or because street harassment and groping are sometimes not taken seriously by authorities.  (The list for not reporting is tragically long).

This past weekend, one Seattle woman, Julia Marquand found herself groped by a complete stranger in the middle of the day while walking into a store.  She confronted her harasser and even caught a photo of him with her phone.  Marquand visited the Seattle Police Department to file a police report to an officer who was unfortunately uninterested in the incident and the photo.  Marquand was informed that it was unlikely that the man could be charged.

Marquand decided to post the photo to her Twitter and Facebook accounts:
Fortunately, the tweet seemed to motivate some action by the Seattle Police Department who assigned Marquand's case to a detective:

Marquand's story has been covered by many outlets, read more at the Seattle Times, King5, SF Gate, and the Washington Times. If you would like more information about street harassment, read Huffington Post's Things You Can Do to Stop Street Harassment or check out a couple of organizations dedicated to ending street harassment:


Update (Oct. 16, 2014)
According to the Seattle Times, the alleged groper photographed by Julia Marquand is a level 3 sex offender (who among many other sexual assault crimes, was arrested by UW police for indecent liberties). The man is now being investigated in connection with groping!

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