Violence Against Women on the MTA: After Deliberation

As a class, we have discussed many topics of importance within our community. We decided to focus in on the violence against women. More specifically our focus was on violence against women on the MTA. Through leading the class deliberation on this topic, we have gained some insight on the views others have regarding this issue.

Our first question for the group was, “What is your comfort level with using public transportation in NYC? ” Most of our participants said they felt indifferent because they depend so heavily on it for their main mode of transportation. Most said they didn’t feel necessarily safe using public transportation in NYC but didn’t ever let that stop them from using it when needed.

Secondly, we asked students “How do you feel about the measures being taken in the local government to prevent crimes against women and other minority backgrounds on public transportation? ” A few students shared that they have witnessed Mayor Adams plan in action to “make the subways safer”. Many people felt that not much was being done to effectively make the MTA safer yet still open to all. A general feeling that Mayor Adams is covering the issue up by throwing police at the situation. Most students felt this was useless or poor use of police as resources because so many are known to racially profile and lead with aggression.

Our third question was, “Do you think that women are more often targeted in MTA assaults and crimes?” Most in the group thought that women are typically more targeted because they are often seen as weaker. We also discussed how it is not only women but most minorities are the main targets of MTA crimes including members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Finally, our last question was, “What steps should be taken in order to making public transportation more safe? Is there a solution that still keeps public transportation accessible to all individuals?” The general consensus was that this is a deeply rooted systemic issue that will require many steps to being solving it. Homelessness and the lack of resources or those properly trained to handle those who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol are some of the main issues with violence on the MTA. Aside from this, the training of police officer, who are supposed to be seen as a solution to this issue, are often known to abuse this power they are given.

Lastly, we allowed for everyone to give final thoughts or views on the topic. Participants shared their final views including the feelings about police aggression and the dangers it could increase with the addition of NYPD to the subways. Overall the deliberation showed that many people agreed that women are more prone to violence on the MTA systems and the road to fixing this issue is a long and winding one.