What is street harassment?
Gender-based street harassment is unwanted comments, gestures, and actions forced on a stranger in a public place without their consent and is directed at them because of their actual or perceived sex, gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
Street harassment includes unwanted whistling, leering, sexist, homophobic or transphobic slurs, persistent requests for someone’s name, number or destination after they’ve said no, sexual names, comments and demands, following, flashing, public masturbation, groping, sexual assault, and rape.
What is street harassment a WiUA issue?
Street harassment is a Women in Urbanism issue because the freedom to use transport safely is a human rights issue, and street harassment often limits a persons ability to use public transport and public spaces, particularly if you're a woman.
There is evidence that the design of urban infrastructure and land use can lead to a reduction in crime and harassment (Greed & Roberts, 2014).
In a recent study by Women in Urbanism, we found 74% of women in
Aotearoa, had at some point faced some form of harassment while on public transport
and in public spaces.
36% of women feel unsafe walking home after dark (Kennedy, 2008).
Personal safety fears are most commonly found among women and youth, but also, the
fears for personal safety are higher among Māori and Pasifika (Kennedy, 2008).