BIG NEWS FOR GIRL’S RIGHTS IN THE UK!
We did it! After years of tireless campaigning by girls and youth activists, the Protection from Sex-Based Harassment in Public Bill will become law! This is a significant moment towards making the UK’s streets safe for girls and women with the issue of public sexual harassment finally being taken seriously.
We hope it creates a shift in how public sexual harassment is dealt with in society. But our fight doesn’t end here. We’ll be making sure that this new law is implemented effectively, giving girls the route to justice that they are being promised.
Thank you to all the girls who have stood up to share their stories, raised their voices and taken action for change. And thank you to everyone who signed our petition, emailed their MP or sent messages of support to our youth activists. This campaign wouldn’t have happened without all of you. When we all work together, we can create real change for girls.
The power of youth action
The #CrimeNotCompliment campaign was launched in partnership with grassroots, youth-led organisation Our Streets Now. Young people have been at the heart of our campaign - they are the real experts on what needs to change and are the ones who have campaigned tirelessly on this issue.
Together with youth activists around the country, we’ve succeeded in changing the law that will have direct impact on their lives – we couldn’t, and shouldn’t, have done it without them. Check out some of the girls who have been part of this wave of change.
The story of #CrimeNotCompliment
Public sexual harassment is an everyday reality for girls – it restricts their freedom and impacts their mental health. We've heard time and time again that girls want it to stop but they are left unprotected and not knowing how to report their experiences.
That’s why in November 2020, Plan International UK launched the #CrimeNotCompliment campaign in partnership with Our Streets Now. Together, with thousands of girls across the UK, we set out to change the law in order to protect girls from all forms of public sexual harassment.
Although we know that this new law is not perfect, together with our supporters, three years later we have secured a piece of legislation which is a step forward along our journey to making the streets safer for women and girls.
The passing of this Bill has a huge symbolic effect and is essential for bringing about long-term cultural change, in which society no longer sees these behaviours as acceptable.
We will be watching how effective this new law is in preventing public sexual harassment and in providing justice for those affected – including by continuing to speak to survivors about their experiences. We will be here to hold the Government to account if it fails to do what they have promised.
We will also be pushing for other sectors (importantly, education) to play their role in preventing this behaviour from happening in the first place, by making sure that everyone grows up knowing that sexual harassment is unacceptable.
Throughout this process, those in positions of power must recognise girls' voices and value girls as key drivers of change. It’s critical that girls’ voices are heard. Critical as a right, critical to shaping the policies and decisions that will affect them, and critical to achieving gender equality and a better world for everyone.
Helena shares how fear of public sexual harassment has affected her life, and why girls can’t wait any longer for a change in the law.
Dr Charlotte Proudman and Dexter Dias QC tell us why we need a new law to make public sexual harassment a crime
I met with Priti Patel to talk about public sexual harassment.
Jess talks about the exciting next step in the campaign