Violence and Safety

Your Rights

  • You have the right to call 9-1-1 toll-free and it is accessible through residential, wireless and pay telephones throughout the District. You can reach police, fire and medical services in the District of Columbia.
  • You have the right to not reveal your name, address or phone number if you wish to remain anonymous when reporting a crime or incident.
  • You have the right to safety walking to and from DCPS and public charter schools and for protecting children in and around DCPS and public charter school property. There is established within the Metropolitan Police Department a School Safety Division that shall provide security for the District of Columbia Public Schools. D.C. Official Code § 5-132.02(d)(1)


  • If stopped by the police:
    • You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
    • You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.


  • According to The D.C. Crime Victims Rights Laws, if you are the victim of a crime, you have the right to:
    • Be reasonably protected from the accused offender.
    • Be notified of court proceedings.
    • Be present at all court proceedings related to the offense, including the sentencing, and release or parole hearings, unless the court determines that the testimony by the victim would be materially affected if the victim heard other testimony or where the needs of justice otherwise require.
    • Receive information about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, detention and release of the offender.
    • Be notified of any available victim advocate or other appropriate person to develop a safety plan and appropriate services.

What is violence?

Violence can take on many forms. The World Health Organization divides violence into three broad types that include “self-directed” violence, “interpersonal” violence, and “collective” violence.

  • Self-directed violence: This refers to violent acts a person inflicts upon himself or herself.
  • Interpersonal violence: This refers to violence between individuals. This includes “family and intimate partner violence,” which occurs largely between family members and intimate partners. It also includes “community violence” which is violence between individuals who are unrelated and who may or may not know each other.   

Things you should know:

  • The Metro Police Department has many safety and prevention tips for: personal safety, consumer protection, home and neighborhood safety, seasonal safety, water safety, school safety, traffic safety, campus safety and crime prevention here
  • The Metro Police Department has summer programs for young people 11-18 years old. If you are interested, please follow this link
  • If you feel unsafe or you have been victimized, you CAN report it. You can report things that happen to you in your home, school, community, church or anywhere else you may experience violence.
  • You have the right not to get bullied in school. DCPS has a Bullying Prevention Policy that you can find here

Here’s where you should go if you want to seek help if you are experiencing violence or feeling unsafe:

DC Metro Police Department: 911 or visit the website for department numbers

Metro Transit Police: Call 202-962-2121 or text “MyMTPD” to report suspicious activity or unattended items on Metro

Your Principal’s Office or DCPS Office of School Security: Also, If you see something illegal or unsafe at your school, your child’s school, or any school, call the “TIP” Hotline at (202) 541-6016.

If you want to get involved in our fight against violence:

Contact the Mayor and City Council

Metro Police Department

Speak Your Mind- share a message with us about your experiences with violence  

Join the movement, by becoming part of our staff, or by helping us spread the word!