New MBTA campaign warns: Sexual harassment on the T has consequences

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A new MBTA/BARCC poster warns T riders about the repercussions of sexual harassment. Credit: MBTA

The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Fenway Health and the MBTA on Tuesday announced a partnership to help end sexual assault and harassment on the T.

Posters will go up in trains and buses to highlight the renewed campaign, which was first launched in 2008.

According to T officials, the campaign aims to send “a clear, strong message that inappropriate behavior and illegal sexual touching will not be tolerated.”

The posters feature photographs of men and women either pointing at potential perpetrators, crossing their arms or holding up their hands. Some of the messages include, “Respect my space,” “Keep your hands off me,” “Keep your privates private,” and “No means no.”

“This community collaboration has been a meaningful one for Fenway Health and the Violence Recovery Program,” said Jessica Newman, a counselor at the Violence Recovery Program at Fenway Health. “As advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims of violence, we know our community is often targeted for sexual assault and other violent acts in public spaces. The inclusivity of this campaign communicates that no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation, you have a right to safety on the T.”

Transit Police have recently reported an uptick in men masturbating and exposing themselves in front of riders. Some witnesses have snapped photographs of the suspects, although Transit Police have said they believe sexual misconduct to be a significantly underreported crime on the MBTA.

The new “Keep your privates private” poster includes a blurb warning against public exposure, saying “Want the whole world to see you? No problem. I can snap your photo with my See Something, Say Something app and send it to Transit Police.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


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