Back in June, we introduced you to the Perv Busters, a newly formed, all-female crime-prevention division of the Guardian Angels, the legendary New York City based volunteer group of unarmed safety patrollers founded by Curtis Sliwa in 1979. This small but mighty force of badass women have one critical mission: “Finding and shaming subway perverts.” Our co-founder saw their work in action today and it made us all feel a little bit better about the world.
The above image is of a Guardian Angels Perv Busters’ sign posted in a station platform on the 2/3 subway line in Brooklyn. It reads…
Have you seen this PERV riding the subway???
This PERV exposed himself to a 22-year-old woman on a 2 TRAIN as it entered CLARK STREET station in Brooklyn. The man was described as black, between the ages of 25 and 35, with a goatee.
Have you seen this man? Have you seen another PERV on the MTA?
If you ride the NYC subway as frequently as we do, you will understand why the Perv Busters’ presence is a truly welcome site. We personally know too many women who, over the years, have been on the receiving end of male rider behavior that’s categorized as “sexual misconduct” (a.k.a. perv’s being pervy). The lewdness can range from men rubbing on women, to opportunistic touching and forcible groping… sadly, a jammed subway car makes this all too easy. Then there are the guys who get their twisted jollies by exposing themselves to unsuspecting women on the subway and others who take it one step further by full on masturbating. It’s vile. It’s scary. It’s criminal.
According to a New York Times article from earlier in 2016, “Reported sex crimes on the subways rose 19 percent last year, to 738 from 620 in 2014.” Because of this there has been a renewed, collective effort to put a stop to it, including more women taking matters into their own hands, quite literally, by snapping photos or taking video of the subway pervs in action. “The police now send out a stream of alerts about such crimes using photos from victims’ phones to try to identify suspects.” The MTA, which oversees the NYC subway, also has a section of their website where you can report “an incident of sexual misconduct” that will be reviewed and “forwarded to Law Enforcement.”
With 21 interconnected routes covering 660.75 mainline track miles and an annual ridership of 1.763 billion, preserving safety on the NYC subway is a monumental job. But with issue-focused groups like the Perv Busters actively contributing to that effort, future commutes are at least one step closer to being perv free.