Unsafe and Harassed in Public Spaces: A National Street Harassment Report

Publication Date: 2014
Abstract: Street harassment is a human rights violation and a form of gender violence. It keeps many harassed people from feeling safe in public spaces. It can dictate where they go, when, with whom, and how they dress. It can impact their hobbies and habits, their routes and routines. It even causes some people to move or quit jobs because of harassers in the vicinity. To stop street harassment, we first must change the all-too-common social attitude that it's not a big deal or that it's simply a compliment. Changing social attitudes takes time, and data can help. While there have been other studies conducted in the U.S., this was the first comprehensive national study to look at the experiences of both women and men and the intersection of race, sexual orientation, and income. The key findings indicate that street harassment is a widespread problem in the U.S., especially for women, and that it happens across all age ranges, income levels, races, sexual orientations, and geographic locations. The data show that there are significant differences for some questions based on sexual orientation, race, and, income. The report includes recommendations and promising practices.