75% of UK women 'have experienced violence or harassment in cities'


Three quarters of women in the UK have experienced violence or harassment in cities, new research has suggested.

A YouGov poll of 2,518 women, commissioned by the charity ActionAid, found that 75% of women had been subject to violence in urban areas.

The researchers found that 23% of UK women had been groped in public, and a third (36%) felt at risk when travelling on public transport.

Three in seven women (43%) said they felt at risk of harassment on city streets.

The proportion of women in other parts of the world who had experienced urban violence was even higher.

In Thailand and Brazil, 86% of women said they had been subjected to harassment or violence in public.

The poll was commissioned to mark the launch of the charity's International Safe Cities for Women Day which takes place on May 20. 

Sarah Carson, ActionAid's women's rights campaign manager, said the research highlighted a "global epidemic".

"Every day women around the world face groping, unwanted touching and many other forms of harassment on the streets of their cities.

"But behind every statistic, are real women. Women who have been raped in their homes in the slums of Delhi, women in Brazil who fear the drug traffickers who dominate and control their neighbourhoods, and garment workers in Cambodia and Thailand who are abused and harassed in and around their workplace.

"It is appalling and unacceptable that this is happening in cities around the world."

The charity is campaigning for the Government to increase the proportion of aid going to women's groups working on the frontline in poor communities.

ActionAid are asking for £70 million over the next three years to be committed to the existing aid budget so that "no matter who she is or where she lives, no woman has to live in fear of violence or harassment in her city".