#CrimeNotCompliment Campaign response to government announcement on £25m for sexual harassment prevention
Rose Caldwell, CEO of Plan International UK, says:
“We welcome the additional funding aimed at making the streets safer for women and girls and are pleased the Home Office is taking swift action to respond to this critical issue. But this is about more than better lighting and CCTV.
“All women and girls should feel safe in public spaces, yet they still continue to face harassment every day. They’re being followed, shouted at, touched and groped – and it needs to stop.
“That is why our #CrimeNotCompliment campaign with Our Streets Now, calls upon the government to establish a clear law that criminalises all forms of public sexual harassment and protects the rights of girls to a life lived without fear.
“Currently, there is no UK law that fully criminalises public sexual harassment, leaving perpetrators to get away with it. As one girl told us, you can be fined for dropping litter in the UK, but not for harassing a woman or girl in public. This cannot be right.
“Funding will help, but only by enacting legal change will we start to see a cultural shift, so that girls and women will finally begin to feel safe in public spaces.
“We know that the government is considering criminalising public sexual harassment. We look forward to working with them on that and eagerly anticipate the publication of the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy later this year.”