Title Title
Girls as young as 14 face regular public sexual harassment, new figures show Girls as young as 14 face regular public sexual harassment, new figures show
Summary Summary
Survey reveals one fifth of girls who are harassed in street aren’t helped by onlookers - or professionals afterwards Survey reveals one fifth of girls who are harassed in street aren’t helped by onlookers - or professionals afterwards
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
<b>Two thirds (66 percent) of girls in the United Kingdom, some as young as 14, have experienced unwanted sexual attention and physical or sexual contact in a public place, a new survey by girls’ rights charity <a href="https://plan-uk.org/">Plan International UK</a> revealed.</b> <b>Two thirds (66 percent) of girls in the United Kingdom, some as young as 14, have experienced unwanted sexual attention and physical or sexual contact in a public place, a new survey by girls’ rights charity <a href="https://plan-uk.org/">Plan International UK</a> revealed.</b>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">The survey of 1,002 girls aged 14-21, published on September 5, showed that more than one-third (38 percent) of girls are catcalled, experience wolf whistling or are at the receiving end of sexual comments in public at least once every month.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">The survey of 1,002 girls aged 14-21, published on September 5, showed that more than one-third (38 percent) of girls are catcalled, experience wolf whistling or are at the receiving end of sexual comments in public at least once every month.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Since the </span><a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/stories/tag/metoo/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">“#MeToo” movement</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> raised the issue of sexual harassment worldwide, campaigners and experts have identified the problem at every level of society, from Hollywood to boardrooms to the street. A young woman in France was recently assaulted by a catcaller after telling him to stop. A video showing the harasser slapping her after she retorted <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45005069">went viral</a>. The French government is <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41637723">planning to impose on-the-spot fines</a> for street harassment including catcalling.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Since the </span><a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/stories/tag/metoo/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">“#MeToo” movement</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> raised the issue of sexual harassment worldwide, campaigners and experts have identified the problem at every level of society, from Hollywood to boardrooms to the street. A young woman in France was recently assaulted by a catcaller after telling him to stop. A video showing the harasser slapping her after she retorted <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45005069">went viral</a>. The French government is <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41637723">planning to impose on-the-spot fines</a> for street harassment including catcalling.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">“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,” said Plan International UK’s chief executive, Tanya Barron.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">“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,” said Plan International UK’s chief executive, Tanya Barron.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Public places such as parks, high streets and bus stops were cited as common locations for harassment in the survey. Fifteen percent of girls said they are harassed in a public place every month.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Public places such as parks, high streets and bus stops were cited as common locations for harassment in the survey. Fifteen percent of girls said they are harassed in a public place every month.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Malikah, a 19-year-old from Birmingham, said she experiences street harassment frequently. “It can be scary, especially if it's at night and someone approaches you quite a few times,” she said.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Malikah, a 19-year-old from Birmingham, said she experiences street harassment frequently. “It can be scary, especially if it's at night and someone approaches you quite a few times,” she said.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite the very public nature of such harassment, 20 percent of the girls surveyed said they had not received helpful responses during or after their encounters with harassers. Such responses would included passersby asking if they are okay, helping them report the case to a professional, or speaking to the person doing the harassing.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite the very public nature of such harassment, 20 percent of the girls surveyed said they had not received helpful responses during or after their encounters with harassers. Such responses would included passersby asking if they are okay, helping them report the case to a professional, or speaking to the person doing the harassing.</span>
[caption id="attachment_86771" align="aligncenter" width="1920"]<img class="wp-image-86771 size-full" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/09/05083445/graffiti-1132204_1920.jpg" alt="" width="1920" height="1250" /> Nearly half (43 percent) of girls pretend to be on the phone when walking home to avoid street harassment. Photo: Pixabay, used under Creative Commons CC0 license[/caption] [caption id="attachment_86771" align="aligncenter" width="1920"]<img class="wp-image-86771 size-full" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/09/05083445/graffiti-1132204_1920.jpg" alt="" width="1920" height="1250" /> Nearly half (43 percent) of girls pretend to be on the phone when walking home to avoid street harassment. Photo: Pixabay, used under Creative Commons CC0 license[/caption]
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Regular harassment without assistance or punishment for perpetrators is leading girls to take precautions themselves, such as changing their routines. </span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Regular harassment without assistance or punishment for perpetrators is leading girls to take precautions themselves, such as changing their routines. </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">To avoid harassment, 43 percent of girls pretend to be on the phone, 22 percent walk a longer route to avoid a certain place and 17 percent dress differently, according to the survey.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">To avoid harassment, 43 percent of girls pretend to be on the phone, 22 percent walk a longer route to avoid a certain place and 17 percent dress differently, according to the survey.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">British Labour Party MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy said the new survey should be a “wake-up call” to make street harassment history. </span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">British Labour Party MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy said the new survey should be a “wake-up call” to make street harassment history. </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s not on young girls to hide away, but our society to make sure they are as free as their male counterparts to lead their lives," she told <i>WikiTribune.</i></span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s not on young girls to hide away, but our society to make sure they are as free as their male counterparts to lead their lives," she told <i>WikiTribune.</i></span>
<h2>Upskirting under the microscope</h2> <h2>Upskirting under the microscope</h2>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Nine percent of girls in the survey reported being “upskirted”  – when someone takes a photograph or records a video looking inside somebody’s skirt without their permission.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Nine percent of girls in the survey reported being “upskirted”  – when someone takes a photograph or records a video looking inside somebody’s skirt without their permission.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Upskirting is already </span><a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40897934"><span style="font-weight: 400;">illegal in Scotland</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> but the act is set to </span><a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/article/75606/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">become a criminal offence in England and Wales</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. A bill introduced to outlaw the practice will be debated in parliament in early September. Prime Minister Theresa May has </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jun/18/upskirting-government-confirms-plan-to-introduce-ban"><span style="font-weight: 400;">promised to take on the legislation</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that would land perpetrators with up to two years in prison (</span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Guardian</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">).</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Upskirting is already </span><a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40897934"><span style="font-weight: 400;">illegal in Scotland</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> but the act is set to </span><a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/article/75606/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">become a criminal offence in England and Wales</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. A bill introduced to outlaw the practice will be debated in parliament in early September. Prime Minister Theresa May has </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jun/18/upskirting-government-confirms-plan-to-introduce-ban"><span style="font-weight: 400;">promised to take on the legislation</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that would land perpetrators with up to two years in prison (</span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Guardian</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">).</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">The bill could help end street harassment by outlawing misogyny. Creasy </span><a href="https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmpublic/Voyeurism/PBC235_Voyeurism%20Bill_Combined_1-3_12_07_2018.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">put forward an amendment</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to the </span><a href="https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2017-19/voyeurismoffencesno2.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Voyeurism Bill</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to make misogyny a hate crime so it would be easier to prosecute street harassers.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">The bill could help end street harassment by outlawing misogyny. Creasy </span><a href="https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmpublic/Voyeurism/PBC235_Voyeurism%20Bill_Combined_1-3_12_07_2018.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">put forward an amendment</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to the </span><a href="https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2017-19/voyeurismoffencesno2.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Voyeurism Bill</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to make misogyny a hate crime so it would be easier to prosecute street harassers.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">“Upskirting is just one example of the kind of problems [girls] face on a daily basis, but this data shows we have to deal with so much more to ensure they are safe,” Creasy told </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">WikiTribune.</span></i> <span style="font-weight: 400;">“Upskirting is just one example of the kind of problems [girls] face on a daily basis, but this data shows we have to deal with so much more to ensure they are safe,” Creasy told </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">WikiTribune.</span></i>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">She said the amendment is “our chance to give them the freedom to live their lives not in fear but in hope for the future.”</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">She said the amendment is “our chance to give them the freedom to live their lives not in fear but in hope for the future.”</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Campaigners against upskirting say the practice is exploitative and degrading, like other sex crimes. Creasy says the act is </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/02/mps-to-decide-whether-make-misogyny-hate-crime"><span style="font-weight: 400;">motivated by misogyny</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, along with other crimes against women that are of a sexual nature, including street harassment.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Campaigners against upskirting say the practice is exploitative and degrading, like other sex crimes. Creasy says the act is </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/02/mps-to-decide-whether-make-misogyny-hate-crime"><span style="font-weight: 400;">motivated by misogyny</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, along with other crimes against women that are of a sexual nature, including street harassment.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">“The Government must not ignore these problems but learn from those police forces which have begun recording misogyny as a hate crime and support a full review of all hate crime by the Law Commission including misogyny to make sure we have the modern legislation our young girls need,” Creasy told </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">WikiTribune</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">“The Government must not ignore these problems but learn from those police forces which have begun recording misogyny as a hate crime and support a full review of all hate crime by the Law Commission including misogyny to make sure we have the modern legislation our young girls need,” Creasy told </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">WikiTribune</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span>
[caption id="attachment_86770" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]<img class="size-full wp-image-86770" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/09/05082911/1024px-Stella_Creasy_-_MP_-_2017.jpg" alt="" width="1024" height="1365" /> Labour Party MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, who is pushing for an amendment to be added to the Voyeurism Bill to make misogyny a hate crime. Photo by: Chris McAndrew[/caption] [caption id="attachment_86770" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]<img class="size-full wp-image-86770" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/09/05082911/1024px-Stella_Creasy_-_MP_-_2017.jpg" alt="" width="1024" height="1365" /> Labour Party MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, who is pushing for an amendment to be added to the Voyeurism Bill to make misogyny a hate crime. Photo by: Chris McAndrew[/caption]
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Nottinghamshire Police became the first UK police force to treat street harassment as a hate crime. Its two-year pilot scheme that ended in July recorded the public harassment of women, from groping to catcalling to or taking unwanted photographs. Advocates are calling for the scheme to be </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/09/uk-police-chiefs-urged-to-adopt-harassment-of-women-as-hate"><span style="font-weight: 400;">rolled out nationwide</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Guardian</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">).</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Nottinghamshire Police became the first UK police force to treat street harassment as a hate crime. Its two-year pilot scheme that ended in July recorded the public harassment of women, from groping to catcalling to or taking unwanted photographs. Advocates are calling for the scheme to be </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/09/uk-police-chiefs-urged-to-adopt-harassment-of-women-as-hate"><span style="font-weight: 400;">rolled out nationwide</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Guardian</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">).</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Misogyny hate crime is </span><a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-44740362"><span style="font-weight: 400;">defined as</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> "incidents against women that are motivated by the attitude of men towards women and includes behaviour targeted at women by men simply because they are women". It includes sexual assault, upskirting, being followed, threatening behavior and unwanted sexual advances.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Misogyny hate crime is </span><a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-44740362"><span style="font-weight: 400;">defined as</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> "incidents against women that are motivated by the attitude of men towards women and includes behaviour targeted at women by men simply because they are women". It includes sexual assault, upskirting, being followed, threatening behavior and unwanted sexual advances.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">“I felt like I’d lost control of my own body,” said Gina Martin, whose </span><a href="https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/887/239/401/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">petition to criminalize upskirting</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> sparked a campaign and drew political support to outlaw upskirting.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">“I felt like I’d lost control of my own body,” said Gina Martin, whose </span><a href="https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/887/239/401/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">petition to criminalize upskirting</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> sparked a campaign and drew political support to outlaw upskirting.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">She </span><a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/article/75606/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">previously told </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">WikiTribune</span></i></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">: “It makes you feel completely humiliated and invaded. There’s something incredibly invasive about a strange hand being in between your legs taking pictures of your crotch without you knowing.”</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">She </span><a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/article/75606/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">previously told </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">WikiTribune</span></i></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">: “It makes you feel completely humiliated and invaded. There’s something incredibly invasive about a strange hand being in between your legs taking pictures of your crotch without you knowing.”</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Plan International UK is urging the government, local councils and police forces to acknowledge street harassment as a form of violence against women and girls. The organization is due to release a </span><a href="http://www.plan-uk.org/streetharassment"><span style="font-weight: 400;">landmark report and campaign</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> on the harassment of girls in the UK and advise policymakers on how to tackle it.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Plan International UK is urging the government, local councils and police forces to acknowledge street harassment as a form of violence against women and girls. The organization is due to release a </span><a href="http://www.plan-uk.org/streetharassment"><span style="font-weight: 400;">landmark report and campaign</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> on the harassment of girls in the UK and advise policymakers on how to tackle it.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Girls have a right to move around independently and without fear, said Plan International UK's Tanya Barron.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Girls have a right to move around independently and without fear, said Plan International UK's Tanya Barron.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">“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.”</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">“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.”</span>
<h2>Street harassment worldwide</h2> <h2>Street harassment worldwide</h2>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">[contribute-c2a text="Add global reports of street harassment" buttons="edit"]</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">[contribute-c2a text="Add global reports of street harassment" buttons="edit"]</span>
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