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After sexual harassment victims called out the DC metro system for their lack of compassion, support, and problem solving, other public transportation riders are taking a good look at their own transit system. The New York Times wrote an especially relevant article about BART and the other two main San Franciscan transit systems. The Bay Area Transit System, the San Francisco Municipal Railway, and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit are probably familiar to many of the students and former citizens of NorCal, who often utilize these systems for jaunts to and from San Francisco, punk concerts in Berkeley, summer internships, and visits to friends in Walnut Creek.
Bay Area women have reacted to the DC uproar in the past week and are expressing how they, too, are facing frequent sexual advances while enduring their commutes. The article reports that the harassment is largely unreported, with police documenting “95 sex crimes on those three [buses, trains, and trolleys] public transit systems, including 35 cases of indecent exposure, often masturbation; 25 cases of sexual battery, which includes groping; one rape and other unwanted lewd behavior. Forty arrests were made.” This seems like a dramatically small amount, considering 370 million people rode these systems last year.
Making this problem apparent to not just DC, but all of America, is a huge step towards ridding this country of sexual harassment. While this issue is being reported in major newspapers and websites, it is time to take lawful action against the perpetrators. As the article notes, countries like Japan, Mexico, and India have had to make female-only cars as a reaction against the increasingly present problem. America needs to stop the problem before we resort to segregating genders as the only solution.
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