Make Street Harassment Illegal in the UK

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Charlie Brades
Charlie Brades signed this petition

I’m Maya. I’m 20 years old and my sister Gemma is 14. Like 90% of women in the UK, we have both faced street harassment. And we are sick of it.

Women* and girls should feel safe walking the streets, day and night, with the confidence that the law protects them. But in the UK, that’s not the case, as there is no specific law against street harassment.

So we’ve started this petition to make street harassment illegal in the UK.  Will you sign it?

We believe that making it a criminal offence will empower victims of harassment to report incidents, and dissuade harassers.

Street harassment is now illegal in France, Belgium and Portugal. So why not in the UK?

The first time Gemma was harassed in the street she was only 11 years old. Hearing that as a big sister was the most upsetting thing in the world. And knowing there is nothing I could do about it was heartbreaking.

As young women, we have gotten so used to constantly being scared. Catcalling is an incredibly threatening thing to experience. It makes us feel powerless, objectified, hurt, and angry.

But it’s also about the long-term effects. Being forced to adapt our routes and clothing, and restrict our behaviour in order to feel safe is not ok. Studies show that street harassment can cause long-term emotional and psychological harm.

You can get fined for dropping a cigarette on the street, but not for harassing and intimidating women? This has to change.

This new law would be a powerful step in tackling inequality and in keeping women safe.

France has shown that criminalising street harassment works. Now it’s the UK’s turn!

Please sign our petition to make street harassment illegal in the UK too.

You can also follow our campaign on our Instagram (@OurStreetsNow) or Twitter (@NowStreets), and remember to use our hashtag #StopStreetHarassment.

*By women, we refer to all those who self-identify as women and/or those who are perceived to be women and/or those who experience misogyny.