Most Females Are Catcalled Before Age of 17, International Street Harassment Study Finds

May 28, 2015 | Prachi Gupta

Anti-street harassment group Hollaback!, in partnership with Cornell University, has released the second part of its international survey on catcalling. With over 16,000 respondents from 21 countries, it stands as the largest study on street harassment to date. The results show, depressingly, that harassment is a universal experience for women all across the world.

What’s perhaps most surprising, however, is not how common it is for women to experience — but how common it is for children to experience. Of all the women who reported experiencing catcalling and harassment in public, 84% said they did so before the age of 17. “People don’t want to recognize that this starts really young,” Debjani Roy, deputy director of Hollaback!, told the Daily News. “The emotional impact it has as girls develop is quite significant.”

This harassment leads to real consequences: 76% of Argentinian women, for example, reported avoiding walking through certain areas to avoid harassment, while 80% of Indian women said they didn’t go out at night out of fear of being harassed. In America, 72% said harassment affects their decisions in what transportation to take.

Worldwide, just over 70% of women reported being followed on the street, and more than 50% women reported being fondled or groped on the street.

“This is a global problem. This really points to the fact that it is a global epidemic,” said Roy.

View some of the findings in Hollaback’s infographic, below:


(Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)