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Women reveal how they experienced catcalling and groping by older men when they were as young as NINE – as they recall the first time they were ever sexually harassed
- #WhenIwas started trended on Twitter this week started by Everyday Sexism
- Group asked women to share earliest experiences of being sexually harassed
- One woman said she’s still scared of men after experience when she was nine
- Many recalled catcalling and unwanted touching before they were teenagers
Women have been revealing their earliest experiences of sexual harassment in shocking confessions that expose how young girls as exposed to unwanted verbal and physical contact from an early age.
The Everyday Sexism project headed by Oxford-born feminist campaigner and writer Laura Bates asked women their earliest experiences of harassment, as it was revealed this week that more than a third of girls in school uniform have been sexually harassed in public, a survey has found.
The hashtag #WhenIwas started trending on Twitter as people shared painful memories, with many revealing how the experience still haunts them to this day.
One woman recalled how a many grabbed her by the shoulders outside a branch of Foot Locker in Reading when she was 12 years old and whispered in her ear that she had nice breasts.
Another woman admitted she’s still scared of men after an older boy put his hand in her underwear and wouldn’t listen to her appeal for him to stop when she was nine-years-old.
Women from the UK and around the world have revealed their earliest experiences of being sexually harassed, groped or catcalled in startling confessions (stock image)
This week, the Everyday Sexism project headed by Oxford-born feminist campaigner and writer Laura Bates asked women their earliest experiences of harassment, sending the #whenIwas hashtag was trending on Twitter
Women described how they experienced unwanted touching, forced kissing and catcalling from an early age, with many admitting the experiences still trouble them to this day
A woman described how wolf whistling from builders started when she was just 12, and still recalls how intimidated she felt while another thought catcalling was her fault at the age of 11, as she was wearing a tank top.
Others described how they felt pressured not to complain as adults around them took a ‘boys will be boys’ attitude, and they didn’t want to seem like ‘that girl’ who made a fuss.
Earlier this week a report from Plan International UK revealed that 35 per cent of girls have received unwanted sexual attention or contact such as being groped, stared at, catcalled and wolf-whistled while wearing their school uniform in public.
One in eight girls reported being 12 years old or younger when she first experienced unwanted sexual attention.
Many admitted they didn’t want to make report for fear of making a fuss, while some who did found that adults didn’t support or believe them
The poll of 1,004 girls aged 14-21 also found that one in seven girls had been followed while in uniform, while 8% said they had been filmed or photographed by a stranger without their permission, or someone had taken a photograph up their school skirt.
Some 37% of the girls questioned said they had been been sexually harassed while travelling to or from school.
The findings come as Plan International UK launches a new report into the impact of street harassment on girls and women in the UK.
One woman admitted she thought being harassed at the age of 11 was her fault because she was wearing a tank top
The charity is calling on the Government to recognise harassment in public as a form of gender-based violence in its strategy to end violence against women and girls.
Tanya Barron, chief executive at Plan International UK, said, “It is shocking and deeply concerning that girls, many of whom are clearly of school age because they are in uniform, are being targeted and sexually harassed by perpetrators in the street.
“It’s simply not acceptable that girls as young as 12 are being wolf-whistled at in public, touched against their will, stared at or even followed. This disgraceful behaviour needs to be called out and stopped.”
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Women reveal they've been sexually harassed from the age on nine