News and Stories - Advocacy - 27th June 2022

Standing up against street harassment, with L’Oreal Paris 

Standing up against street harassment, with L’Oreal Paris 

One in five young women in Australia feel less safe at night, compared to before the pandemic. But together with L’Oreal Paris, our Youth Activists are taking a stand – and helping others to do the same. 

A recent survey of young Australian women conducted by Plan International Australia revealed that 42% of respondents aged 18-24 feel unsafe walking at night because of the risk of sexual harassment, and the numbers are significantly higher for young women with a disability. For this cohort, more than a quarter said they feel less safe now  than before COVID-19 changed our world.

Many young women also shared that the effects of the pandemic have significantly impacted their mental health. To add to this, Australia is one of the lowest-ranked countries in the Asia-Pacific region when it comes to women’s perceptions of safety.

The study comes as we gradually emerge from the pandemic. Lockdowns are being lifted and we are spending more time outside, but young women and gender diverse people are finding that streets are emptier, train stations quieter, and parks less populated than they used to be. Some say that the street harassment they experience has become more aggressive, with perpetrators emboldened by the lack of interference from onlookers.

All of this means that if something goes wrong, there are fewer witnesses to intervene or provide assistance. And when there are people around, they may not know what to do.

80% of women have experienced sexual harassment in public spaces, but the majority of witnesses to this violence feel there is a lack of training on how to intervene.

Street harassment is far from new, however, and it is something Plan International has been tackling for many years both in Australia and across the globe. Now, our incredible Youth Activists are delivering a unique and powerful interactive training as part of the global Stand Up Against Street Harassment campaign, powered by L’Oreal Paris.

Research by L’Oreal Paris shows that 80% of women have experienced sexual harassment in public spaces, but the majority of witnesses to this violence feel there is a lack of training on how to intervene. The Stand Up training aims to tackle myths about street harassment and sexual assault, and provide participants with tools to recognize harassment and to safely step in when they see it occurring.

Our Youth Activists have already helped cities become safer through their advocacy, and this year, together with L’Oreal Paris, they are set to create an even safer future for young women and gender diverse people – a future where they can walk freely without fear.

Our incredible Youth Activists are delivering a unique and powerful interactive training to help people recognise and address street harassment when they see it, as part of the global Stand Up Against Street Harassment campaign, powered by L’Oreal Paris.

The hour-long session is free, and available for workplaces to undertake! It’s a powerful tool for all staff and the feedback has been extremely positive around shifting attitudes and behaviours. Learn more and sign your workplace up now.

Keep up to date