NYFST is a coalition of community-based organizations working to eliminate gender-based violence, including street harassment and assault, which occurs in New York City’s mass transit system. Its Core Members include RightRides for Women’s Safety, Girls for Gender Equity, HollabackNYC, The Ali Forney Center, Center for Anti-Violence Education, and Transport Workers Union Local 100.
Riding public transportation should not come with the fear of violence, and NYFST believes that all individuals deserve to be treated with dignity.
WHAT WE DO
NYFST mobilizes communities to increase safety in New York City’s mass transit system. We challenge the normalization of gender-based violence in public transit and pursue policy change and community responses that will create more equitable public transportation. Our comprehensive approach includes:
- • Public Awareness Raising
- • Safety Education Trainings
- • Leadership Building & Mobilization
- • Policy Advocacy
- • Strategic Communications
WHY WE FORMED
In 2007, sixteen community-based organizations working to increase public safety for women and LGBTQ individuals teamed up with the Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer to produce Hidden in Plain Sight: Sexual Harassment and Assault in the New York City Subway System, a report on the frequency of gender-based violence in the city’s mass transit system. The research found that 63% of respondents reported having been sexually harassed, and 10% sexually assaulted, in the NYC subway system. However, few victims reported the incidents and many stated that this was because they did not know to whom they could report it or feared they would not be taken seriously.
Hidden in Plain Sight made recommendations to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New York City Police Department that would increase riders’ safety. When it became apparent that these institutions were not adequately addressing the problem, RightRides for Women’s Safety, Girls for Gender Equity, and HollabackNYC formed New Yorkers for Safe Transit in 2009 to hold these institutions accountable and raise public awareness about issues affecting mass transit safety.