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STOP HARASSMENT: Little Chalfont woman whose daughter was harassed asks MP to back campaign

 Published on: 26th October 2019   |   By: Alex Pearson   |   Category: Uncategorized

Women in the Chalfonts are supporting a stop street harassment campaign set up by two sisters who have both faced it. 

Started by Maya, 20 and Gemma Tutton, 14, set up the campaign after Gemma was harassed for the first time when she was 11 years old. 

Maya said it was the “most upsetting thing in the world” knowing she could do nothing – so she set up the petition. 

Kathryn Simpson, from Little Chalfont, said her daughter was beeped at when she was the same age and decided to tweet local MP Dame Cheryl Gillan to back the campaign. 

She said: “Hello @CherylGillan as a member of your constituency I’m asking you to pledge your support for @nowstreets and their campaign to stop street harassment. 

“My daughter was 11 the first time she was ‘beeped’ at in Little Chalfont. It’s not ok.”

Street harassment is currently illegal in some EU countries – France, Portugal and Belgium – but is not currently in the UK. 

The Tutton sisters are hoping to get 200,000 signatures so they can present the petition to Lizz Truss MP, cabinet minister for women and equalities.

The sisters said: “Women and girls should feel safe walking the streets, day and night, with the confidence that the law protects them. But in the UK, that’s not the case, as there is no specific law against street harassment.

“You can get fined for dropping a cigarette on the street, but not for harassing and intimidating women. This has to change. 

“As young women, we have gotten so used to constantly being scared. Catcalling is an incredibly threatening thing to experience. It makes us feel powerless, objectified, hurt, and angry.

“We believe that making it a criminal offence will empower victims of harassment to report incidents, and dissuade harassers. Street harassment is now illegal in France, Belgium and Portugal. So why not in the UK?”

A report by YouGov for stopstreetharassement.org in 2016 said that 64 per cent of woman have experienced sexual harassment in public rising to 85 per cent of women between 18 to 24 years old. 

To support the petition, visit change.org/p/make-street-harassment-illegal-in-the-uk

Have you ever been street harassed? Email your experiences to Alex at newshub@mynewsmag.co.uk 

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