Two thirds of girls and young women sexually harassed in public - ROUND GIST

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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Two thirds of girls and young women sexually harassed in public

Almost two thirds of girls and young women have been sexually harassed in public, according to a charity's poll.

More than 1,000 girls and women aged 14 to 21 were asked about their experiences in public settings, including on transport, walking on the street, at school or in the workplace.

According to the poll 66% said they had experienced unwanted sexual attention or sexual or physical contact in a public place.

Plan International UK, a children’s charity, is calling on the government, local councils and police to acknowledge street harassment as a form of violence against females.

Their research also found almost 40% had encountered verbal harassment such as catcalling, wolf whistling and sexual comments at least once a month.

Additionally, 15% reported being touched, groped or grabbed at least once a month.

Nearly one in 10 (9%) had at some point experienced upskirting, which is the act of taking photographs under dresses or skirts without consent.

Tanya Barron, the charity's chief executive, said: "We already know that women sadly experience street harassment all too often, but this survey brings to light the shocking fact that it's regularly happening to girls as young as 14, too.

"They are being harassed while they're out with their friends, travelling on public transport and just trying to get on with their everyday lives

"Girls have a right to move around independently and be in public places without fear.

"They are telling us that they refuse to accept harassment as a normal part of growing up. They want to see change, and we all have a responsibility to help make that happen."

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