The Manhattan borough president wants more police in the subways to fend off perverts who attack straphangers.
Scott Stringer’s office asked commuters how often someone sexually attacked or harassed them in the subway, and found frightening results. More than 60 percent of those who responded to the online study said they were sexually harassed and 10 percent said they’d been sexually assaulted.
“This whole notion of what happens underground stays underground is just not acceptable anymore,” Stringer said. “Instead of fighting back, people have become afraid or believe that nothing can be done.”
Rush hour was particularly perilous for harassment and attacks, according to Stringer’s survey of more than 2,000 people. Almost all victims did not report the crime to police or Metropolitan Transportation Authority personnel.
Beyond actual attacks, the survey showed most straphangers simply felt a threat of some kind of sexual incident.
Educating people to speak out, creating a phone hotline for attack victims and more detailed sex-crime reporting could curb underground harassment, Stringer said.
But officials with the NYPD and New York City Transit said they’re already helping harassment victims. The police noted that they arrested 119 people for sexual abuse and lewdness this year.
Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges said the agency already has brighter lights on new subway cars, but Stringer called for old cars to be retrofitted with better lighting. Transit also has already begun installing 1,031 digital security cameras in 61 stations, with more to come.
Stringer sent the results of his survey to the MTA and police. The survey was more anecdotal and less scientific, with respondents being people on his e-mail list and from women’s advocacy groups.
Uh-huh, what exactly was “sexual harassment” defined as? What exactly is a “threat of some kind of sexual incident”? Looking at a secondary sexual characteristic of someone else? Smiling or flirting at someone?
What “women’s advocacy groups” did you get 2,000 email addresses from? Did you get any email addresses from “men’s advocacy groups” and ask any men if they had been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed?
Oh and good job Newsday for putting the key paragraph as the third to last one. You get an “A” for good reporting.
Hat tip: Matt “threat to democracy” Drudge