Sarah Everard was walking home on 3 March when she was kidnapped and murdered by an off-duty Metropolitan Police officer, catapulting the issue of violence against women in UK society into intense public focus. Reacting on social media with the hashtag ‘SheWasJustWalkingHome’, women around the country also shared their stories of the harassment and fear they have experienced while going about their lives.
As a YouGov survey shows, a quarter of women in Britain have encountered sexual harassment while in a public space in the last five years, while this rises to over half for the age group 18-24. The most common form of harassment reported in the survey was a verbal comment of a sexual nature which made the respondent feel uncomfortable (39 percent). 31 percent of victims said they had experienced inappropriate touching – increasing to 38 percent for 18 to 24 year olds.