Catcalling and groping is rife and can be an related to more serious crimes. The law must take it more seriously

If you’ve not been catcalled yourself, chances are you’ll know someone who has been. In 2016, research from the End Violence Against Women Coalition found that 64% of women of all ages have experienced unwanted sexual harassment in public; among 18- to 24-year-olds, that percentage increased to 85%. With figures like these, you’d have thought we’d all be talking about street harassment. But new figures from children’s charity Plan International UK suggest that isn’t always the case.

Of the 1,004 girls and young women aged between 14 and 21 they surveyed, 66% had experienced unwanted sexual attention, grabbing or groping, or indecent exposure. But 42% of them didn’t tell anyone. 33% said they were “too embarrassed” to open up, 28% didn’t think they’d be taken seriously, and 14% said they had kept quiet because they felt they were to blame.

Related: French police issue almost 450 fines under street harassment law

Related: Men underestimate level of sexual harassment against women – survey

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