Young women suffer twice the average level of sexual harassment and stalking, survey finds


Survey of 10,000 people finds harassment is mainly from acquaintances 

A SURVEY INTO rates of sexual harassment has identified far higher rates of abusive behaviours directed to women in Scotland.

Figures on sexual victimisation and stalking were released today [Tuesday 17 May] by the Scottish Government, detailing results from an extensive survey of 10,000 adults who took part in the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) for 2014-15.

The survey concluded: “Young people, particularly young women, experienced the highest level of stalking and harassment: 12.7 per cent of 16 to 24 years old women had experienced at least one type of stalking and harassment in the last 12 months.”

This figure was approximately double the average rate of 6.4 per cent.

The gendered nature of sexual assaults was also demonstrated by the statistics. 94.1 per cent of victims identified the offender as male. 

Published evidence reaffirmed previous reports that the main form of sexual harassment and violence does not come from strangers, but those victims share close relationships with.

Fifty four per cent of sexual assault victims in the survey said the perpetrator was their partner. 87.4 per cent said they knew the person responsible for the assault before it took place. 

The survey figures for harassment and stalking “remains consistent” with previous findings, but campaign groups are continuing to press for more serious action to counter violence and threatening behaviour.

Protests such as ‘Reclaim the Night’ have brought communities together to counter violence and harassment. 

Picture courtesy of Morten Watkins