MBTA Launches New Sexual Harassment Awareness Campaign

In conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, MBTA officials kicked off a new campaign to keep riders safe and alert.

MBTA Poster

Following a series of reports of indecent exposure on various MBTA trains in March, transportation officials are rolling out a renewed effort in the form of a public campaign that makes it clear to riders that sexual misconduct will not be tolerated.

Using several different posters that feature women—and men for the first time since the MBTA launched a similar campaign in 2008—MBTA officials hope the public service announcements will “empower the riding public to report such incidents and take action to prevent them,” according to a press release.

The posters warn potential suspects that if they harass other riders, they will be reported, or a victim of the sexual harassment could take their photo. The posters also feature QR codes that allow riders to download the Transit Police “See/Say” app, a quick-reporting tool for smartphones that sends urgent information to Transit Police. “The campaign continues to let riders know that the MBTA and the MBTA Transit Police take this seriously and will arrest and prosecute offenders,” officials said in a statement.

Posters will be going up in the trains and buses in April to highlight the renewed campaign that garnered national attention and recognition when the T first introduced it nearly six years ago. In a partnership with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Fenway Health and MBTA Transit Police, the T’s newest push to stop predatory behavior on public vehicles coincides with National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which is April.

“This community collaboration has been a meaningful one for Fenway Health and the Violence Recovery Program. 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,” Jessica Newman, a counselor and advocate at the Violence Recovery Program at Fenway Health said in a statement.