The number of girls who feel unsafe outside is 'alarmingly high', according to a new survey by Girlguiding UK.
The findings were published in their yearly Girls’ Attitudes Survey – a survey of 1,903 13 to 21-year-olds in the UK – which found that more and more girls are feeling unsafe when they’re outside their home or school.
More than half of those aged 13 to 21 said they have felt unsafe walking home alone, a number which the organisation branded as a ‘alarmingly high’.
The same number also experienced harassment or know someone who has, and nearly half also felt unsafe using public transport.
One young woman aged 17 to 21 said: ‘Girls’ lives would be better if things like harassment and stalking were taken seriously and punished properly.’
Another, aged between 11 and 16, also revealed: ‘One thing that would improve girls’ lives would be to make it safe for girls to walk down the street alone.’
According to the same survey, the number of girls who have experienced ‘unkind, threatening and negative behaviour online’ has also increased, compared to five years ago. However, their response is positively changing, as they’re more likely to report this kind of behaviour.
The reports read: ‘With more channels to abuse, sadly we weren’t surprised by these figures. But girls’ response to harassment is much more robust than it used to be, which is positive.’
‘Girls are less likely to ignore abuse and report it more, as well as delete posts. We’re pleased to see a mainly positive response from girls in addressing such unacceptable behaviour.’
One area that the report says is ‘extremely concerning’ is the fact that ‘a few girls and young women aged 13 to 21 now feel it is acceptable for their partner to behave in abusive ways’.
The survey also found that girls are also socialising less, which could be due to commitments or time pressures such as homework.
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