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Street harassment: it’s not ok

Our report on girls’ experiences of street harassment in the UK

Street harassment: it’s not ok

Our report on girls’ experiences of street harassment in the UK

Around the world, harassment and the threat of harassment can have serious implications for girls’ freedom, their autonomy and their perceived safety.

Following our 2016 report The State of Girl’s Rights in the UK, which showed girls didn’t feel safe in the classroom, online or on the streets, we’re launching 'It’s not ok', our report on girls’ experiences of, and their views on, street harassment in the UK. 

Our report reveals street harassment is widespread and profoundly affecting girls’ lives – and they want it to stop. 'It’s not ok' aims to amplify their voices and priorities for change, to encourage everyone to take the issue seriously and take steps to end it.

Street harassment: it’s not ok

Download our report on street harassment in the UK


‘As a girl you always have to be prepared’

“As a girl you always have to be prepared, I guess ‘coz you just never know what is going to happen.

"Recently someone rolled down their window, and he said, ‘Do you need a ride?’ It was just a normal, quiet road. I said, ‘No, I’m fine,’ and I just turned around and walked away, and then I looked behind me and he was slowly following with his car.”

Raisa, 17, Birmingham

‘I changed my skirt to trousers’

“I was travelling quite late at night. I was about to walk upstairs to get ready to leave. And then I sort of walked past my mirror and thought I should change and so I changed my denim skirt to trousers.

"I think it was unconsciously because of worrying that people would look at me and I just thought, ‘Oh, my skirt might be too short.’"

Nora, 15, London


‘People come up to me in my uniform’

“Growing up, it started at the age of 13. I look older than my age, so people assume that ‘she’s a different age’.

"People do come up to me in my uniform. They assume I’m 16. They think I’m already in year 11. I’ve told them I’m 14 or 13 and they don’t believe it.”

Rebecca, 15, London


The world’s cities aren’t safe for girls, and it’s a global problem that must be addressed. Our Safer Cities programme is working with girls to ensure they have access to and can move freely in public spaces, and are participating in decision-making about their cities – so they no longer have to face abuse, physical and sexual harassment and exploitation.

Meanwhile, here in the UK, our Stand with Girls programme in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Oxfordshire and Leeds is working with girls to assess the areas they live in for safety, services and how the needs of girls are met locally.


Nine ways we can all take a stand

Street harassment is leaving girls feeling upset, intimidated and afraid – and these feelings are made worse when the people who witness these incidents don’t take action, or when adults make girls feel the behaviour is their fault.

Our report highlights nine ways everyone – from the public to youth services, the government to the police – can take a stand against street harassment.


“I’m so used to it, it’s just become normal. You think to speak up but because they’re boys, men, you feel like you’ll get in trouble and anything could happen.” - Fathema, 17, Carmarthen


Join the campaign to end violence and discrimination against girls