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Street harassment

Dannetta sits on a bench in the park

Street harassment

Every day, girls across the UK are being harassed in public places – and told it’s just part of growing up

From parks and bus stops to local 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 calling on the Government, local authorities and police to recognise street harassment as a form of violence against women and girls.

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.

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

28% of girls in the UK don’t go out at night to avoid being harassed

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.”
 

Morgan, 18

‘IT STOPPED ME FROM GOING RUNNING’

“I don’t go running without a partner now.” says Morgan, 18, from Lincolnshire.  

“I used to go, ‘Well it’s hot! Crop top, and shorts, that’ll do me, go for a run.’ But I used to get so many beeps and so many comments that I thought, ‘Ok, next time I’ll buy a long sleeve top.’"

"I still got comments and I thought ‘Right, I can’t do this anymore’. It stopped me from going running, ‘cos I didn’t feel safe.”

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 your support as we call on the Goverment, local authorities and police forces to acknowledge street harassment as a form of violence against women and girls.

TAKE A STAND AGAINST STREET HARASSMENT

Join our Because I am a Girl campaign

*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.