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Street Harassment Prevention Act of 2018

The Street Harassment Prevention Act of 2018 (SHPA), is a first of its kind legal measure in the United States that: (1) creates a legal definition of street harassment; (2) establishes a community-based  Advisory Committee to study street harassment and develop model policies and trainings; and (3) requires a public information campaign on street harassment.  It was designed to uniquely focus on prevention through education instead of criminalization.Street Harassment Prevention Act: Overview of Law

What is the definition of Street Harassment?

Street harassment is any disrespectful, offensive or threatening statements, gestures or other conduct directed at an individual in a high-risk area without the individual’s consent and based on the individual’s actual or perceived protected trait identified in the DC Human Rights Act of 1977.

What is a high-risk area?

A high-risk area includes all public spaces and entities outside of a private residence. These areas include but are not limited to the following:

  • Enclosed area within any Metrorail car, Metrobus, MetroAccess vehicle, DC Circulator bus, DC Streetcar or any other commerical vehicle capacle of carryying more than 6 passengers;
  • Food service entity;
  • Any school, library or other building primarily used for instruction of students;
  • Any bank, health care facility, laundromat, retail store, shopping mall, sports arena, music venue and theater;
  • All publicly-owned property, including any roadway, sidewalk or parking lot; and
  • All buildings or land owned, leased or occupied by District government.

For an overview of the law, download the Street Harassment Prevention Act of 2018 overview (PDF).