When Silence Is Not Golden: 40% Of Individuals Unsure How To Handle Catcalling

A startling new survey has revealed that many Americans are unsure what to do when they witness catcalling. The study of 2,000 adults in the US found that 4 in 10 people feel helpless in these situations, while over half have experienced harassment themselves.

The findings shed light on the prevalence of street harassment and highlight the need for education and awareness to combat it.

Harassment on The Rise

A new study commissioned by L’Oréal Paris Stand Up and conducted by OnePoll has found that many Americans are unsure how to respond to cat-calling. The survey, which polled 2,000 US adults, discovered that 72% of respondents had either witnessed harassment or had personally experienced it themselves. Of those polled, 52% reported having been harassed, while 37% had witnessed it happening to others in public.

Of those who reported experiencing public harassment, 46% said they had experienced more in the past five years than at any other point. Witnessing harassment can be traumatic, and the study found that 57% of respondents had seen it escalate into a fight or assault. Fortunately, 55% of those surveyed said that they could easily spot when harassment is happening.

Emotional Response

Witnessing harassment can trigger a range of emotions, including anger (75%), sadness (50%), being stunned (41%), and helplessness (32%). These emotions can be overwhelming, leaving many unsure of how to respond.

Changing Perceptions of Harassment

According to the survey, 73% of respondents agree that the definition of harassment has evolved over the past 20 years, while 64% believe that it happens more frequently today than two decades ago. Respondents defined harassment as being touched without permission (67%), being made to feel uncomfortable (67%), being followed (55%), being racially profiled (52%), and being yelled at (49%).

Where Does Harassment Occur

The survey found that the respondents believed harassment occurs most frequently in the workplace (52%), in bars and restaurants (38%), on public transit (35%), and on college campuses (32%). Over half (61%) of those surveyed feel that people in a position of power are more likely to get away with harassment.

Combatting Harassment

The survey found that 67% of respondents would be willing to intervene if they witnessed someone being harassed. However, 45% felt they could have done more to decrease instances of harassment if they knew how to combat it properly. Many respondents shared what they had considered doing to combat harassment, including calling out bad behavior (45%), taking self-defense courses (39%), and learning how to contact the proper authorities (35%).

Anti-street Harassment Training

Over half (56%) of those surveyed said they would be willing to take a short training course to combat street harassment. Additionally, 54% said they would feel better equipped to defend someone experiencing harassment if they had the training. Finally, 58% of respondents even believe anti-street harassment training is as vital as learning CPR.

Recognizing Harassment Is Key

“It is so important to recognize what harassment is and where it’s happening,” said Emily May, President, Co-Founder, and Lead Executive Officer, Right To Be. “The best way people can take a stand against harassment is to learn the best ways to recognize it, address it, and prevent it from escalating.”

Where Is Harassment Taking Place

  • In the workplace – 52%
  • At a bar/restaurant – 38%
  • On public transit – 35%
  • College campuses – 32%
  • On the sidewalk – 22%
  • In a shared private space – 19%
  • While shopping – 17%

Survey Methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by L’Oréal Paris Stand Up between March 9 and March 13, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

This post was produced by Talker News and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.

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