News 10 March 2021

Survey Finds 97% Of Young Women In The UK Have Been Sexually Harassed

10 March 2021

Nearly all women in the UK have been sexually harassed, according to a new survey.

In the YouGov questionnaire, which was carried out by UN Women UK, 97% of women aged 18-24 said they had been subjected to sexual harassment.

The survey also found that 80% of women of all ages said they had been sexually harassed in a public space.

The results of the questionnaire, which was answered by more than 1,000 women, also found that 96% of respondents did not report incidents, with 45% thinking it would not change anything if they did.

“This is a human rights crisis. It’s just not enough for us to keep saying, “This is too difficult a problem for us to solve” – it needs addressing now,” said Claire Barnett, executive director of UN Women UK.

“We are looking at a situation where younger women are constantly modifying their behaviour in an attempt to avoid being objectified or attacked, and older women are reporting serious concerns about personal safety if they ever leave the house in the dark – even during the daytime in winter.”

UN Women UK are currently running their Safe Spaces Now project where they have collected 400 stories from women, and have also sent an open letter to leaders calling for better designed public spaces, improved reporting systems and education.

Barnett added: “We’ve seen really strong results elsewhere in the world. Our problem now is that sometimes in the UK, we think we are a leading light in terms of progress, and we forget to work on the gender-based violence that still happens every day at home, especially to women and marginalised groups.”