Exposé: Sexual Harassment in Public

Following a wave of sexual harassment allegations sweeping the nation, the rise in Britain should be at the centre of public concern. Widespread coverage has shone a spotlight on the deplorable underworld in which it occurs, yet the ordeal for the everyday woman is frequently ignored.

The importance of women’s safety should not be limited to the entertainment world, music industry or workplace. Inappropriate sexual behaviours must be measured in clubs, on the street and the wider public sphere. With women’s experiences regularly internalized, complaints are not often made to the police. Subsequently, there is mostly anecdotal evidence of occurrences.

iCov Political News team, have conducted a study to gauge the scope of the growing problem. The poll, conducted on Twitter has found that women of all ages have faced unwanted sexual harassment. Further to this, the study examined the age group of which women who have been affected. It has specifically focused on public space experiences, which provides a critical insight into the current allegations.

After experiencing sexual harassment in public, results concluded that 67% of women have been asked the woefully insulting question, “what were you wearing”? The toxicity of this aims to criminalize the ordinary woman who is going to work, meeting friends, and carrying out the common norms of ones day to day. It decriminalizes the actions of the offenders and promotes a victimhood amongst the culture of harassment. A women’s body is policed by the way in which she walks, dresses and talks, used to infer that she was “asking for it”, a phrase so loosely used to defend the actions of indecent behaviour. This study has currently revealed that 11% of women said that a bystander intervened when they were harassed and unsurprisingly, 81% wished someone had. This figure is not to say that women needed a man to embark on a heroic mission to save the ‘damsel in distress’, yet that as a society, we have a moral obligation to defend women who are subjected to harassment.

Follow the movement on social media by using the hashtag, #metoo. As a symbol of unity, together we must break down the barriers of secrecy.


Written by Monifa Bobb-Simon


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