h1

witnesses to rape

September 21, 2006

(potentially triggering)
Last June, a 21 year-old woman was raped on a G train platform in Queens. The story was especially frightening because she was not alone – the attack occured in clear view of the station attendant. Following MTA security regulations, the attendant stayed inside his booth and pressed his alarm button.

Fast forward to now…the woman is suing NYC Transit for “fail[ing] to meet the standard of care owed . . . to their passengers.” According to the Gothamist article, the woman has forgiven her attacker, as he was “sick,” but not the station attendant.

The rule about the attendant not leaving his/her booth was instated for the safety of the attendant. The logic, as I understand it, is that if a crime is being committed against one person in view of the attendant, better that he/she stays put and safe (and presses the alarm button, theoretically calling for NYPD help), rather than putting two people at risk. What I don’t understand is why the transit authority can’t allow the booth attendants some amount of discretion with this rule depending on circumstances – time of day, location, presence of others around, etc. I also wonder whether I feel so strongly about this because the both the attacker and the station attendant were men and the attacked person was a woman. It seems to me that the attendant was using this rule as an excuse not to intervene/try to help, rather than because he actually felt that he was in danger. A train conductor had also seen the attack, apparently, and pressed his own security button, but “couldn’t stop in time to help her.”

I’m sorry, that’s a lot of bullshit. A woman is being raped. Hello? Stop your Fing train! Trains pause all the time – people get sick, train traffic, signal trouble. Come on. I think the G train passengers riding at 3 am might’ve had a little patience. Not to mention that if the train had stopped, someone else (a passenger) might have seen the attack and actually been able to stop it. I hope that something good can come of this, not just that the woman will get something from the MTA, but that perhaps they will rethink their security regulations and factor in a little nuance.

Thanks to Gothamist for the story (my trusty source for all NYC news)

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