In May 2012, End Violence Against Women (EVAW) published the results of a YouGov survey it had commissioned which revealed that 43% of young women in London (aged 18-34) experienced sexual harassment in public spaces over the last year.
The survey asked women Londoners about their experience of unwanted contact or attention (eg wolfwhistling, sexual comments, staring, exposure) of a sexual nature in public spaces over the last year and found that:
- 41% of women aged 18-34 have experienced unwanted sexual attention
- 21% of all women have experienced unwanted sexual attention
- 4% of all women have experienced unwanted sexual touching
The subject is not widely discussed but the fact is that it is a routine, everyday occurrence for younger women. There is no research on the prevalence of sexual harassment in the UK, nor on its impact, although some ongoing qualitative research in London is beginning to find that the impacts are very wide-ranging – from increasing women’s fear of crime and making them change their behaviour, to affecting body image and choice of dress.
Click here for survey results
Click here for EVAW website