an investigation carried out by un women uk found that 97% of women between the ages of 18 and 24 have been sexually harassed, and another 96% do not report such situations because they believe that it will not change anything
yesterday (March 10), a police officer was arrested in connection with the disappearance of sarah everard, a woman who was walking home in london’s clapham common area. this news has spread across the country, echoing with the darkest fears of women walking home at night.
claire barnett, executive director of un women uk, said: “this is a human rights crisis. it’s just not enough for us to keep saying ‘this is too hard a problem for us to solve’, it needs to be addressed now.”
Reading: 97 of all woman
It seems almost every young woman in the UK has experienced sexual harassment. This figure is not at all surprising to women who have grown up in the UK. It’s common for friends to share traumatic experiences on whatsapp, call each other while walking home, and hesitate to turn down men who might be irrationally angry. For women, street harassment is a sobering part of their daily lives.
to be visible at all, is to be objective.
It seems that there is no other option that can avoid this kind of horrible experience. sarah everard wore bright clothes, walked through well-lit residential streets and communicated with her partner.
a yougov survey by un women uk found that only 4% of women report incidents of sexual harassment, while an overwhelming 96% continue to have doubts about the ability of uk authorities to handle an incident like East. Around 45% of women who would not report sexual harassment in the UK say it is because nothing would really change.
The dominant statistic in the media today is that 97% of women ages 18-24 have experienced sexual harassment. This is because the number seems impossibly high for those who have grown up without the experience of sexual harassment as part of their existence.
Researchers further reveal that people who were groped, followed, and pressured into sexual activity did not consider their experience “severe enough” to report.
“conventionally attractive” women are more likely to be believed
When it comes to reporting, independent research by the University of Washington found that “conventionally attractive” women are more likely to be believed. this creates a further divide between the experiences of women who report their sexual harassment, with some being perceived as more valid than others.
Women outside of strict social norms are more likely to be perceived as unharmed by harassment, which means their reports are taken less seriously and may even affect how sex offenders are sentenced. this includes race, with white women being the expected victim of sexual harassment by the majority of the 4,000 people involved in this research.
When a woman is perceived to be an unlikely victim, the sentence may be less stringent for her attacker.
lead author and uw psychology professor cheryl kaiser explained, “when bullying is perceived, a connection to womanhood is also made, but the way we understand womanhood is defined differently. very limited.
“so for anyone who falls outside of that definition, it’s hard to make that connection to bullying.”
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in data from un women uk, 80% of all women said they had been sexually harassed in public spaces in the uk. this experience of sexual harassment appears to be a universal trait of femininity across the country.
what about street harassment of underage girls?
These findings, and the fact that a police officer is allegedly responsible for the brutal murder of a woman, increase pressure on the government to create functional interventions for gender-based violence in the UK.
A group of schoolgirls have been campaigning to make street bullying illegal, through grassroots organizing Our Streets Now.
found that 72% of students who reported sexual harassment in public described receiving a negative response from their school; most participants said no real action was taken, while another 47% did not report incidents because they were afraid they would not be believed or taken seriously.
Some incidents occur in taxis, leaving women and girls highly vulnerable to assault. To take action against this in the UK, sign this petition.
anya, a 14-year-old student from essex, commented: “ever since i was 11, i have avoided walking home from the bus stop alone, especially when i come home from school in my uniform.
“Along with most of my friends, I have experienced public sexual harassment on multiple occasions. however, we have never been taught about it.”