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Criminalise public sexual harassment in UK, charities say | Sexual harassment

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Women’ rights teams are calling for public sexual harassment to be criminalised within the UK after analysis advised greater than half of younger ladies and women had been harassed on the road throughout the summer time.

A fifth (19%) of younger ladies and women aged between 14 and 21 skilled being catcalled, adopted, groped, flashed or upskirted throughout the spring lockdown, in response to polling by youngsters’s charity Plan International and marketing campaign group Our Streets Now.

This rose to 51% throughout the summer time as coronavirus restrictions had been eased and extra individuals returned to public life, the teams stated. They’re calling for all types of public sexual harassment to be made a particular legal offence to acknowledge it’s “a criminal offense, not a praise”.

Plan Worldwide and Our Streets Now polled 1,000 mother and father of women and girls aged between 14 and 21 and 1,010 women and girls within the age group between 23 September and 1 October.

The analysis discovered {that a} third of oldsters (32%) had been advised by their daughters that they’d skilled harassment in public. Three-quarters of the ladies and younger ladies surveyed (76%) didn’t report the incident to the police.

Of the mother and father who took half within the examine, 80% stated they apprehensive their daughters would expertise public sexual harassment throughout their lifetime, with one in 10 believing their daughters youthful than 11 years previous could be focused.

4 in 10 mother and father stated they’d requested their daughters to not exit after darkish or take sure routes, whereas two-thirds stated they’d instructed them to not stroll residence alone after a sure time.

However, amid widespread concern, a 3rd (37%) of oldsters wouldn’t know the place to report road harassment of their daughters. Half of the ladies and younger ladies polled believed a transparent legislation making it a particular crime would assist stop it, and that with the ability to report harassment by textual content or on-line would additionally assist.

Rose Caldwell, the chief govt of Plan Worldwide UK, stated: “Listening to the ladies we work with, alongside the experiences of my two teenage daughters, has made all of it too clear to me, because the pandemic rages on, that public sexual harassment can not be ignored.

“This persistent and pervasive harassment of ladies throughout the UK is totally unacceptable, however sadly not stunning. And that is one thing that impacts not solely women, however their households, with mother and father worrying from a younger age concerning the abuse their daughters face in public.”

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