Publication - 3 December 2019

Reporting to Authorities: Girls’ and Young Women’s Experiences of Reporting Street Harassment

Utilising data collected via our Safer Cities Free to Be project in 2018 with Monash XYX Lab and Crowdspot, the report is a major study on street harassment, and urges authorities to improve reporting outcomes for girls and young women. In the original project, young women and girls from Sydney, Madrid, Lima, Kampala and Delhi dropped pins on maps, representing areas they felt safe and unsafe in their cities. Of these pins, 14,500 represented specific incidents or locations where they felt unsafe.

In this new Reporting to Authorities report, a deeper look at these findings reveals that fewer than 1 in 10 of these incidents of sexual harassment were reported to an authority and when they were reported, 67% of these reports were not acted upon or taken seriously by authorities.

Across the five cities, young women noted that most responses from authorities were trivialised, with responses ranging from belittling, disbelief and dismissal, to further harassment from authorities themselves and a complete lack of justice, resulting in frustration and a lack of trust in the system.

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