MTA Has A Groping Change Of Heart

In the middle of last month, I wrote about the MTA outhinking themselves when they decided against going through with their anti-groping advertising campaign. Patrick Gallahue of the New York Post brought the original exclusive story to us all has once again got exclusive news on the MTA’s change of heart. Here is the brief report from Patrick:

New York City Transit is finally moving against perverts who use crowded trains as an opportunity to grope women.

Weeks ago, The Post exclusively reported that agency officials were holding back on an ad campaign against sicko straphangers out of internal fears that it could actually provoke the deviants. But the agency has now opted to roll out the campaign next month.

The posters read, “Sexual harassment is a crime in the subway, too – a crowded train is no excuse for an improper touch. Don’t stand for it or feel ashamed, or be afraid to speak up. Report it to an MTA employee or police officer.”

The first 2,000 posters will be distributed throughout the system and should remain up for at least three months to “assess its impact,” said NYC Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges.

The campaign was sparked by a report last year by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer that found 10 percent of women surveyed claimed to have been sexually abused and 63 percent reported having been sexually harassed.

I am glad the agency had a change of heart although I question what took them so long. The main reason given for not going through with the campaign was the fear of copycats or encouraging perverts to take their chances. They now want to “assess their impact” which is pretty much saying they still have fears of copycats. The right attitude is to just say the safety of our passengers is & will always me more important than the chance of idiotic perverts being encourage by ads calling them out.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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The media, including this site, have widely cited a 2007 study which found that 63% of women reported being sexually harassed and 10% saying they had been sexually assaulted while on the subway.

Based on this shocking statistic, it would seem that there is an epidemic of male molesters running amok in the Big Apple’s underground. There’s only one problem – the statistic is totally unreliable.

As was previously reported more than a year ago by both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, the study’s methodology was fatally flawed. As a result, the 63% figure which has been so widely circulated likely grossly overstates the actual extent of the problem. This type of sensationalistic reporting has become so widespread that many don’t even question how improbable these statistics sound any more.

Undoubtedly, steps should be taken to deter the victimization of women on the subway. Rather than starting a scare campaign based on bogus statistics, however, it would be more constructive to promote a campaign based in fact, which encourages and empowers women to deter this type of behavior by forcefully confronting it. As noted in the WCBS story, the failure to confront offensive behavior only invites further attacks – whether on women in the subway, or on men in the media.

Hello The Hanky Panky Report,

Thank you for visiting the site & leaving a comment. I did not catch the original report which you linked to in your entry. I decided to take a look at it to see what the problem was.

I can see why you feel the way you do as the method used to get complaints was severely flawed. However even with saying that, I don’t think it is fair to call this a scare campaign. Statistics or not, one groping is one too many & should not happen.

I also factor in that women have a tendency to not report such incidents. The groping issue can be seen the same way rape is as far as how many women for their own reasons never report it, mostly due to embarrassment.

How do we know that the statistics are not closer to what was stated when there is a strong possibly victims have not reported their encounters?

While I can understand the point of confronting attacks, it is not as easy as WCBS made it seem. Many women are wired not to confront faced with situations like this & it will take more than a report to get them deprogrammed.

I am a man & I assume you are one as well so I can understand the anger involved. However our gender has its share of issues revolving around such lewd acts & I for one won’t get offended at a report calling those types of individuals out. I have a clear conscience.

[…] when they decided against going through with the ad campaign. I later thanked them for having a change of heart & going through with their initial plans. Well I can now say they have officially unveiled the […]

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