Friday, 1 Mar 2024

Three-quarters of girls avoid summer activities overs fear of sexual harassment

Girls stop exercising outside, shun music festivals and consider what they wear so they don’t attract unwanted attention.

Plan International UK’s survey of 603 females aged 16 to 25 found over three-quarters (77 per cent) were “actively avoiding” doing things during the warmer months, such as going to the beach or using public transport.

The charity’s Kathleen Spencer Chapman said: “Public sexual harassment is an everyday reality for girls and young women in the UK, and our devastating survey results show just how much it restricts their freedom in the summer months, with many
missing out on activities they should be enjoying to avoid it.

“We are looking forward to seeing the Protection from Sex-based Harassment Bill enter its final stages in a symbolic moment for girls’ rights.

“We hope it prompts much-needed widespread cultural change so that society no longer sees these behaviours as acceptable.”

READ MORE: Lizzo breaks silence on bombshell lawsuit and blasts ‘false allegations’

The charity and campaigners at Our Streets Now have been urging the Government to make public sexual harassment a crime, with over 65,000 supporters behind them.

The Daily Express has backed their crusade through the Keep Women Safe On Our Streets campaign.

The Bill is set to pass its final stages in Parliament this autumn.

Gemma Tutton, co-founder of Our Streets Now, said: “Women, girls and people of marginalised genders shouldn’t have to change where we go or what we do to avoid unwelcome and unwanted attention.

“We shouldn’t have to cover up in the summer heat to try in vain to deter sexual advances or intimidating behaviour as we try to go about our daily lives. Yet this survey shows just how many of us will restrict our actions and freedoms for fear of public sexual harassment.

“Summer – a time for hanging out with friends, exercising in the park, going to festivals and enjoying the sunshine – is clearly a very different experience for women and girls across the UK.” 

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