A-Third Of British Girls Are Sexually Harassed While Wearing School Uniforms, Report Finds

More than one-third of girls in the UK have been harassed in public while wearing school uniforms, a new study by a children’s charity has revealed.

According to the research by Children’s Charity Plan International UK, One in eight girls said they first experienced unwanted sexual attention or contact in a public place when they were 12 or younger.

The girls’ rights charity found that 35 per cent of girls have received unwanted sexual attention or contact such as being groped, stared at, catcalled and wolf-whistled while wearing their school uniform in public.

Describing the findings as “unacceptable” and “horrifying,” some British MPs have already called for immediate action to ensure sexual harassment among young girls is tackled.

​37 per cent of the schoolgirls surveyed said that they had been sexually assaulted on their way to or from school.  The poll of 1,004 girls aged 14-21 across the UK in June 2018 also found that 8 percent of the girls had been victim to the practice of “upskirting” while in their uniform. They were photographed and filmed by strangers who attempted to take an “up-skirt” photograph of them.

“Most appallingly of all, girls as young as 11 are having to deal with sexual harassment out in public places,” Maria Miller, a member of the British parliament and the chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, told The Independent. “We need to have a clearer strategy to tackle this because it is completely unacceptable.”

Read More: Child Sex Abuse Perpetrates Widely Among British Clergymen, Doctors, Teachers, And Social Workers; report

19-year-old Malikah, from Birmingham, said she was followed by someone in a car while walking alone.

“My phone was upside-down, but I pretended to be on the phone and was trying to make out like my dad was coming to pick me up,” she said. “Now my parents are more cautious about when I’ll be home and going out after dark.”

An 18-year-old girl surveyed said she felt street harassment was “part of the ‘bro culture’” and her dad had told her: “You know what men are like.”

16-year-old Jess from the Scottish city of Glasgow told researchers that she was 15 when a man on a train tried to put his hand on her knee.

“I was like, what am I supposed to do?’ I ended up getting off the train at the next stop and just being completely lost,” Jess said. “It was such a horrible experience. I was going to see my biology tutor and I arrived at the library in tears, I was really upset about it,”

“I think the worst part was feeling guilty because I was wearing a skirt – which is stupid because it shouldn’t matter what I was wearing.” She added.

Natasha, a 25-year-old woman, told researchers that it made her “feel sick” when a man whistled at her 10-year-old sister, who was wearing a uniform. “How can you not see they’re children?” she asked.

The charity has called on the UK government to recognise street harassment as a type of “gender-based violence”.

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