Poll: 55% of British women have been sexually harassed

As the #metoo campaign continues to gain momentum, bringing the issue of sexual harassment to the forefront, a new poll in the UK shows that more than half of women and over one-fifth of men have experienced sexual harassment. In Bristol, things have gotten so out of control that authorities have declared sexual harassment a hate crime.
Over half of UK women have been sexually harassed | Illustration Photo Credit: Karel Miragaya, 123RF/ Channel 2 News

A UK survey has revealed that more than half of women and more than one-fifth of men have been sexually harassed and one in five women have been harassed in the workplace- though 58% of them did not report the harassment to their company. According to the poll, run by Opinium Research, 7% of men have been sexually harassed at work, but 43% of them did report the harassment. In most cases, even the incidents that were reported were either ignored or acknowledged with no action taken against the perpetrator.

At the same time, Twitter reported that the #metoo campaign has already reached 85 countries and was referenced in more than 1.7 million tweets. UK Twitter users also used the hashtag #itsrevolting. Hanna Price, founder of Revolt Sexual Assault, started the local campaign.

"My experience of sexual harassment at university was kind of inescapable, you couldn't really get away from it," Price said in an interview with Sky News. "It was quite overwhelming- whether you were in a club or walking down the street. That really shocked me to the core and I felt I needed to do something about it."

In Bristol, a city in south-west England, sexual harassment in the streets has become so rampant that local police stations have had to designate an entirely new category of hate crimes to 'gender-based crimes'.

According to a representative from a local women's organization, they had "increasing numbers of women coming to us to talk about street harassment as a particular problem in Bristol. We wanted to explore that and see what could be done about it- how we could challenge those behaviors and think about how people could address that and work towards creating a zero-tolerance city."

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