MBTA joins global fight against transit sexual harassment

MBTA Transit Police Superintendent-in-Chief Joseph O'Connor speaking on the MBTA's partnership with the Global Guardian effort. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
MBTA Transit Police Superintendent-in-Chief Joseph O’Connor speaking on the MBTA’s partnership with the Global Guardian effort.
PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Fenway Health, Hollaback! Boston and the MBTA are joining a transatlantic effort to call attention and respond to sexual harassment and assault on public transit.

Global Guardian expands on the T’s 2008 crackdown on sexual assault and harassment. In this first year of what is expected to be a growing annual effort, police in London, Vancouver and Washington, D.C. will also participate in the operation.

“We want people to know that we care and take very seriously these crimes and that all people should feel safe reporting them to transit police. We will follow up and do investigations,” said Transit Police Superintendent-in-Chief Joseph O’Connor.

In 2013, there were 46 reported assaults on the MBTA, according to O’Connor. So far this year, there have been 14 reports, but BARCC Executive Director Gina Scaramella said she anticipates more people will come forward as public awareness is stirred.

Plain clothed and uniformed T Police will be providing flyers to riders this week with information to download onto mobile devices.

Cara Presley-Kimball of the Violence Recovery program at Fenway Health, said that local partners are supportive of addressing harassment and violence that is targeted specifically at LGBT people, and  Scaramella pointed to a notorious MBTA upskirting incident as a demonstration of how everyone has a role to play.

“In that case, it was the riders who let the police know that they observed an offender taking upskirt photos of women on public transportation,” Scaramella said.

Kate Ziegler of Hollaback! Boston also pointed to the need for bystander involvement in preventing incidents of sexual harassment.

“We recognize the need for victims and bystanders alike to be able to speak about their experiences to both law enforcement and with other members of the community, however they are most comfortable,” said said Ziegler.

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



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…