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Street harassment

STREET HARASSMENT

EVERY DAY, GIRLS ACROSS THE UK ARE BEING HARASSED IN PUBLIC PLACES. WE NEED YOU TO STAND WITH THEM AND SAY IT'S NOT OK.

All the characters featured in our campaign film are actors.

From parks and bus stops to high streets, UK girls are facing verbal and physical harassment every day – and they've told us they want it to stop. That's why we're asking you to say 'It's not OK', as we call on the government to recognise harassment in public as a form of gender-based violence.

Our latest survey shows that 66% of girls aged 14 to 21 have experienced unwanted sexual attention or harassment in a public place. And every month, 38% are experiencing verbal harassment like catcalling, wolf whistling and sexual comments, while 15% are being touched, groped or grabbed.

Despite this harassment happening in public, only 20% of girls said someone had responded in a way they found helpful. And to stay safe, girls are having to take steps to avoid being targeted: from not going out at night to dressing differently and taking longer routes to avoid dangerous locations.

DO YOU FEEL SAFE ON THE STREET?

2 out of 3 girls in the UK have been sexually harassed in public

35% of UK girlswearing school uniform have been sexually harassed in public

15% of UK girls are being touched, groped and grabbed every month

Siam, 19

‘I GET WOLF WHISTLED LIKE A DOG’

“Five seconds away from here, on my way in, I get wolf whistled like a dog. But I would have brushed that off as a part of daily life,” says 19-year-old Siam from South East England. 

“Sometimes you can put yourself in more danger if you do retaliate against some guy. You want to, every part of you wants to say something, or fight back or something, but you know that you’re safer if you just do the polite smile and walk on.”
 

Jess, 16, Glasgow

NOT SAFE IN SCHOOL UNIFORM

Our research shows that more than one in three girls in the UK have received unwanted sexual attention, such as being groped, stared at, catcalled and wolf-whistled, while wearing their school uniform in public.

“I was in school uniform sat on a train and this guy kept trying to put his hand on my leg,” says Jess, 16, from Glasgow.

“I ended up getting off the train that next stop and just being completely lost because I just didn’t want to sit there anymore. It was such a horrible experience.”

Dannetta stands in the middle of a square surrounded by closed shops
“When some boys don’t get the response they want, their words kind of turn aggressive.” - Dannetta, 18, London

THE RIGHT TO FEEL SAFE ON THE STREETS

Every girl has the right to move about freely and to feel safe in public places.

Girls across the UK have told us they refuse to accept street harassment as a normal part of growing up – and they want to see change.

We all have a part to play in making that happen. Which is why we need you to stand with UK girls and say #ISayItsNotOK, as we call on the government to recognise harassment in public as a form of gender-based violence in its strategy to end violence against women and girls.

TAKE A STAND AGAINST STREET HARASSMENT

STAND WITH UK GIRLS AND SAY #ISAYITSNOTOK

*Our survey was carried out by Opinium Research amongst a representative sample of 1,004 14-21 year old girls in the UK. The sample has been weighted to reflect a nationally representative audience.

If you've experienced street harassment and need to talk to someone, you can call Childline on 0800 1111 or visit their website.

If you experience behaviour that makes you feel uncomfortable on public transport, you can report it to the British Transport Police by texting what, when and where to 61016.