Public Sexual Harassment Called To Become A Criminal Offence

Co-founder of Our Streets Now, Gemma Tutton, has launched the #CrimeNotCompliment campaign, which calls for all forms of public sexual harassment to become a criminal offence.

The campaign is set to change attitudes towards “women, girls, and marginalised genders” being, “followed, shouted at, touched, groped and grabbed.”

Go to http://www.ourstreetsnow.org to sign the petition in support.

Our Streets Now is working in partnership with Plan International UK in this mission. Plan International reported on statistics from a survey conducted, revealing that 51% of women and girls over the summer had experienced public sexual harassment in some capacity.

Tell Me About It also conducted a recent poll on Instagram, finding that a staggering 88% of followers had experienced public sexual harassment in Newcastle.

According to Citizen’s Advice, sexual harassment is defined as, “unwanted behavior of a sexual nature which: violates your dignity, makes you feel intimidated, creates a hostile or offensive environment…”.

Sam Thomson, Engagement Officer at Survivor’s Trust UK spoke to Tell Me About It on this matter. “All forms of sexual violence, including public sexual harassment, can be incredibly traumatic for a victim-survivor of all genders and ages,” Thomson told us.

“Yet, unfortunately, experiences of sexual harassment can be invalidated and minimised by our media and legal frameworks,” Thomson continued. “Knowing that legislation could be put into place to help more members of society recognise the damage and severity of public sexual harassment is a welcome step forward in supporting victims and/or survivors of sexual violence.”

Tell Me About It also talked to Katie Merrington, 19, a student at Northumbria University, about how public sexual harassment severely affects her in daily life. Listen all about it in the Podcast Episode 2, below.

In a report published in 2019, by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee on sexual harassment in public places for women and girls, it stated how they recognised the “rigid gender stereotypes” which can hold back “women and men at work and in society, and can create an environment that enables and normalises sexual harassment.”

This report went to state further how the Government Equalities Office (GEO) would take “initial exercise to explore which method or methods would work best to raise awareness and tackle harmful norms that can lead to sexual harassment.”

If you have experienced sexual harassment or sexual abuse and are looking for support, you can contact these helplines –

Equality and Human Rights Commission – Sexual Harassment –
Freephone: 0808 800 0082
Email: equalityhumanrights.com

Victim Support –
Supportline: 0845 30 30 900
Email: victimsupport.org.uk

Support Line –
Telephone: 01708765200
Email: info@supportline.org.uk

You can follow Katie on Instagram – @_katiemerrington_

You can read more from Our Streets Now at https://www.ourstreetsnow.org/our-streets
Follow them on Twitter @ourstreetsnow

What do you think about this news story? Let me know down in the comments!

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