If you live in a major city and have taken public transportation before — and you’re a woman — then you’ve been there. Hell, if you have visited a major city, even for just a weekend, and gotten on public transit, you’ve most likely been there. You get catcalled waiting for the subway, groped as you ride the bus, or someone gets a little too close as you stand on the platform. Well, Los Angeles heard your cries. Mashable reports that, according to a statement from the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the city’s public transit system will begin offering its riders a 24/7 sexual harassment hotline. According to Mass Transit, it’s a one-year pilot program. All a rider has to do to get support is call the number: 1-844-Off-Limits. On the line, a counselor from the nonprofit Peace Over Violence will talk them through what’s going on, and provide the necessary resources to get help. The organization has had its own hotline for sexual assault survivors for over 45 years. Phillip Washington, Metro CEO, said in a statement, “No other transit agency in the world has a 24/7 sexual harassment victim hotline.” Peace Over Violence advertised the new program on its Facebook page with a series of inspirational, anti-harassment statements. “Because riding the bus to work is not an invitation. Waiting for the bus at a bus shelter is not an invitation. A crowded subway car is not an excuse,” it read. See the whole post below.
Executive director of Peace Over Violence, Patty Giggans, said in a statement: “We want victims to make reports and also have the resources they need to recover in a healthy way.” Along with the installation of this new hotline, Los Angeles will be expanding its subway cell service to include downtown stations along with increased video surveillance, Mashable reports. We’re so glad Los Angeles has taken the lead here with this important measure. What city is next?