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  1. ITV Report

More than half of young women in Wales experienced 'unwanted sexual attention'

Trin said she experienced harassment when she was just 16. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

A children's charity is calling on the Welsh Government to recognise street harassment as a form of gender-based violence.

It comes after a survey by Plan International UK has revealed more than half of girls and young women in Wales have been sexually harassed in public.

The survey of girls and women aged between 14-21 found that 32% are receiving verbal harassment like catcalling, wolf whistling and sexual comments once a month or more, while 17% are being touched, groped or grabbed every month.

52%
of girls and young women in Wales have experienced 'unwanted sexual attention'.

An 18-year-old from Cardiff said she experienced harassment on the bus on her way home from work.

Trin said she was 16 at the time a man started following her.

He came on the bus with me and started talking to me about how I was too pretty to not have a boyfriend.

He must have been in his 50s because he started talking about his grandchildren. I was closed in because he was sat next to me, and he made me feel nervous all the way home.

– Trin

It’s shocking that on average girls in Wales are having their first experience of sexual harassment in public at the age of 14, and that this behaviour is so normalised they aren’t even telling anyone what’s happened to them.

This survey reveals just how widespread harassment is for girls and women and highlights the need for more to be done at a local level.

– Tanya Barron, Chief Executive of Plan International UK
37%
of girls said they have been followed in public.

The Welsh Government said its goal is to make Wales the "safest place in Europe for women".