MTA Outhinks Themselves

Three days ago, New York Post Transit Reporter Patrick Gallahue had an exclusive report about the MTA outhinking themselves when it came to an ad campaign they have been working on. The ads were part of their anti-groping campaign which was to bring public awareness to the never ending issue of sick individuals groping or molesting women in the subway. Here his is report courtesy of the New York Post:

City transit officials have prepared a campaign to combat deviants who grope or molest women on the subway – but have been sitting on it because of fears the ads could actually encourage sickos.

The New York City Transit campaign was set into motion after a study last year by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer found that 10 percent of women surveyed reported having been sexually abused in the subway and 63 percent claimed to have been sexually harassed.

Stringer recommended a publicawareness campaign, which NYC Transit quietly prepared. The agency made it as far as developing mock-ups, which never went to print.

Sources said the agency held off on launching the campaign out of fear it could actually provoke deviant behavior.

That move has baffled some, including Oraia Reid of RightRides, an anti-harassment organization that offers free, late-night rides home to women. “What evidence is there that a public-education campaign would provoke offenders to act or would increase the chance of crimes occurring?” Reid said.

“A comprehensive educational campaign with the full support of the MTA and the NYPD behind it would indeed help make our subways safer by informing subway riders that sexual harassment and assault is a reality [and] by letting perverts and offenders know that they are going to be held accountable for their crimes.”

Just last Thursday, a man was arrested for allegedly grinding up against a woman on a No. 4 subway car. Anthony Sum, 33 – who records show has been convicted of forcible touching on at least two occasions – was arrested and charged with persistent sexual abuse, officials said.

Anti-groping campaigns have been launched in cities such as Boston, where trains and buses are adorned with posters bearing such slogans as “Rub against me and I’ll expose you,” and “Flash someone and you’ll be exposed.”

The number of reported groping incidents there did rise with the campaign, officials said. Boston police said there were 38 incidents reported through June of this year compared with 17 during the same period last year – but attributed the rise to increased reporting.

“I would speculate that we’ve brought attention to the fact that this is not acceptable behavior to the MBTA, and people are now reporting it more,” said Chief Paul MacMillan of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. A spokesman for NYC Transit would say only that it consults with the Police Department on “matters of safety and security.”

I would love to know what the MTA is thinking with this decision. What makes them think that putting up ads will increase the amount of groping/molesting incidents? If anything, the fact you are not bringing public awareness to the issue will only make these predators think no one is paying attention to their acts.

So if they are going to use this logic, they might as well post no ads to raise public awareness to the many other issues facing subway riders such as litter, terrorism efforts, etc…. as the same principal could apply. Now most of us would realize that it would not apply but unfortunately we do not make the decisions at the MTA.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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[…] days ago I wrote an entry about an article that appeared in the New York Post about the MTA choosing not go through with their anti-groping advertising campaign. I personally felt the MTA was wrong in choosing not to go through with the ad campaign. A day […]

[…] 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 […]

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