More than a dozen girls and young women from the Courage Campaign asked the the CTA board last week for its help in fighting sexual harassment on trains and buses via awareness ads. And while some board members were encouraging, the ad campaign was not given the green light by the transit agency.
It turns out that the CTA's ad agency, Titan Worldwide, "has a rule requiring advertisements that fall under the public service announcement category must be posted by either a government entity or a registered nonprofit group, which Courage Campaign is not," according to a DNAinfo Chicago story.
A CTA spokeswoman also noted that last year there were just four reported incidents of sexual assault on the CTA, while in 2013 just 18 incidents of public indecency were reported.
But I'm sure if you're a woman, you have been the victim of minor harassment a number of times, and even more serious intimidation such as men masturbating or exposing themselves. I know my wife and daughter both have been.
For its part, the CTA has in the past included sexual harassment as a target in its "see something, say something" ad campaign. But those ads have mostly disappeared.
Certainly the fight for the ad campaign is not over. And the CTA has not shut the door on the Courage gals. The CTA is encouraging women to report harassment. The spokesperson also said the agency takes into account social media posts on the subject.
So to the folks behind the Courage Campaign, I say, keep pushing on.
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