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Street harassment

Street harassment

As many as 65% of women and girls have experienced some form of street harassment. From wolf-whistling, to groping and flashing, it has a detrimental impact on our freedoms.
Street Harassment
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Street harassment is a form of gender-based abuse that can cause you to alter your behaviour, including avoiding going to certain places at certain times to avoid the likelihood of it happening.  Street harassment is often perpetrated against young women and girls with some reporting it happening to them whilst wearing school uniform.

Harassment can make girls less confident, fearful and limit their freedom of movement.

The range of behaviours associated with street harassment is broad, but the result is that women and girls feel intimidated or scared in public. The behaviours may be perpetrated by men or boys who are known to you or it may be from a range of different unconnected individuals with the cumulative effect being a unified message that men have more right to be in public spaces than women and have more control over that space.

Even seemingly small acts of leering or performing sexually motivated gestures, can have a significant impact on how safe women and girls feel. As many as 65% say that they have experienced some form of street harassment, with descriptions involving, wolf-whistling, sexualised gestures, insistent staring, sexual insults, rude comments, rubbing, sexual touching, grabbing, groping, stalking, exhibitionism, flashing, unwanted approaches, dragging and pulling to name a few.

In several police force areas in the UK, including North Yorkshire, crimes motivated by misogyny, the hatred of women, can be recorded as hate crimes.

In Nottingham, the effect has been that there was an increase in reporting of street harassment, with many women coming forward with reports of sexual assaults.

Learn more

Laura Bates, writer and founder of Everyday Sexism talks to IDAS about Street Harassment and Everyday Sexism.

Plan International’s short film about street harassment

Jess Leigh’s TEDx talk on Street Harassment

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