Pervasive problem

Global study shows vast majority of women are catcalled before the age of 17

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Edwin Koo/International Herald Tribune

A global study on catcalling, conducted by anti-street harassment group Hollaback! and Cornell University, has shed some light on just how widespread and pervasive the problem of street harassment is. Surveying 16,000 women in 20 countries (the largest study to date) has shown that the majority of women are catcalled during puberty, with a staggering 84 percent of women being harassed on the street before they even turn 17. More depressing stats: 50 percent of women reported being groped or fondled in public, and 71 percent said they had been followed by harassers. “People don’t want to recognise that this starts really young,”  said Debjani Roy, deputy director of Hollaback!. “The emotional impact it has as girls develop is quite significant. This is a global problem. This really points to the fact that it is a global epidemic.” The study has prompted a reaction on Twitter as well, where women have been sharing their own experiences with the hashtag #firstharassed, showing that for many it starts before they even reach puberty.

Read the full story at The Telegraph.

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