The Sexist

Has a Man Grabbed Your Ass In Adams Morgan?

Last night, Sexist reader was groped at the corner of 18th & Columbia Rd. NW. On to the good news: After thinking it over, the woman reported the incident to police, who told her that they were aware of this guy's movements in the neighborhood.  Want to help reduce Adams Morgan's groping population? Read this woman's story, after the jump.

Last week I was on the train and happened to pick up the city paper. I started to read stories of other women being assaulted on the streets and their reactions. I had though about what I would do in that circumstance and what I should do, but never really believing it would happen to me.

Last evening while on a run, a older man grabbed my butt as I went past him. I was so stunned that I was a few strides away before I turned to find out if this may have been accident. As I turned to look at the person, the man had a look on his face that indicated he meant to do it. I confronted him by [saying] "that is completely inappropriate". My response apparently amused the man. He had this creepy smile that basically [conveyed] to me that he knew what he was doing and there is nothing I could do about it.  I looked around for a cop, but at that time there was none to be seen. I didn't know what to do at that point and left feeling helpless.

When I got home, I spoke to a few friends about it. All my male friends encouraged me to call it in. All my females said nothing or the older ones scolded me for even confronting him. I knew it was wrong and I knew it was assault, given the information in this series, so I called and reported the incident. It turns out there are a few of these guys around in my neighborhood.

I don't know what will come from my reporting the incident, but if he does it again and we continue to report these incident, [he] eventually will be caught and held accountable.

  • noodlez




  • Jeff D

    I am a man, and it is disturbing that the groping is going on. Perhaps taking photos of the gropers and/or confronting them might be more effective than contacting the police.

    I think that this discussion is worthwhile. However, the discussion has not addressed a major problem. The Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department has serious difficulties investigating all sorts of crimes. I have lived here 21 years, and I think that many residents and visitors would agree that many Metropolitan Police officers are indifferent or hostile toward crime victims. The New York Citypolice department is so much more diligent. I understand that department does take groping assaults seriously.

    Plus, the D.C. criminal court system is swamped, and it has problems, too. So, I don't know if the authorities can and/or will do something about this problem.

  • Rick Mangus

    Another stupid groping story, WHO CARES! Time to read another column.

  • lizrd

    I care! Thanks Amanda. Empowerment that comes in forms other than date rapey songs make my day.

    thanks to the above commenters for, once again, contributing so much to the conversation.

  • Former Staffer

    Keep it up Amanda. hopefully we get one more sexual predator off the street.

  • TJ

    This is such good news that I can't even find the words.

    Ok... maybe I could find just a few words... :)

    Amanda, this just shows that people are actually reading and HEEDING to your advice. Her female friends gave, unfortunately, a very typical response, and I think that's just what Amanda wants to change. Hopefully if more people (not just women) understand that this is not acceptable, your wish might be granted, Rick and noodlez... Amanda will stop writing about groping, because their will be nothing to write about.

  • Amateur Sketch

    Ya know, a discription of the guy would help...

  • Autumn

    Thank you for this story. I am glad to know that this woman had the courage to report it. I think before reading this I would have felt silly calling into the police about a man grabbing my a**, but she is right - it's assault and something needs to be done. Bravo and thank for from the rest of us.

  • Rick Mangus

    A new book is coming out by Amanda Hess, it's called, 'Hess and Obsessed On Groping'.

  • jf1

    "I confronted him by [saying] “that is completely inappropriate”."

    LOL so was your response.

    Like many women you put far too much stock in "appropriateness". Next time put some stock in 911.

  • LeftSidePositive

    jf1, is empathy completely foreign to you??

    Are you incapable of understanding the situation of someone who is shocked and alone? Would you have her call 911 and wait around to identify the man and risk getting assaulted again?

  • Emily

    @LeftSidePositive: jf1 has proven himself to be woefully ill-equipped to speak about sexual assault, so don't even worry about it.

    Amanda, I'm so glad you shared this story! If people want to read others you should visit hollabackdc -- there are some great stories on there of women empowering themselves (buried within the many stories of random assaults)

  • LeftSidePositive

    @Emily, yes I know--I've sparred with him before. His mental processes never cease to baffle me! (If you want to make your head explode, take a look at his "logic" on the Dudes Who Won't Wear Condoms thread. All I can say is, it's special...)

  • LuckyLeft

    Carry some pepper spray! That'll teach him!

  • Rick Mangus

    'LuckyLeft', pepper spray is illegal in DC, what the police expect you to do is call 911 and wait hours for the police to respond, or pick up a rock and hit the person in question.

  • jf1

    "what the police expect you to do is call 911 and wait hours for the police to respond"

    what, 911 won't respond instantly to a woman claiming to have been assaulted in the Ustreet corridor? Not possible!

  • jf1

    hint: mention that you're white, and your assailant was black. Watch 'em come running!

    Can't help you if they won't respond if you say that your assailant was white. Luck of the draw.

  • Ardent Pepper Sprayer

    Rick Magnus, stop spreading misinformation. Pepper spray is not illegal in DC. You just need to register it when you buy it.