A new study commissioned by Stop Street Harassment reveals just how common street harassment is in the US. No surprise there.
Sixty-five percent of women say they’ve experienced street harassment at some point in their lives. More than half experienced verbal harassment and 41 percent experienced physical aggression. Twenty-three percent have been sexually touched, 20 percent have been followed, 14 percent had been flashed, and 9 percent have been forced to do something sexual. A quarter of men have also been harassed. LGBT men are more likely to be harassed than other men–most commonly with homophobic or transphobic slurs. The vast majority of harassers of both genders are men. And Black and Latin@s are more likely to be harassed than whites.
I agree with Jessica–I’m actually surprised the number isn’t way higher than 65 percent. She speculates, “Maybe what we know is harassment has become so expected and commonplace we almost don’t identify it as notable anymore.” Given that half of those harassed said they’d first experienced it before age 17, maybe we’ve learned from a young age that some harassment is just the price we pay for stepping outside into a public space.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Join Stop Street Harassment today at 2:30 p.m. ET for a HuffPost Live segment about what we can do about it.
Do you know the laws that cover street harassment in your state?
Street harassment, masculinity, and impressing other dudes
What you can do to help end street harassment
It takes a village to silence street harassment
Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.