National Street Harassment Report

June 3, 2014: In 2014, SSH commissioned a 2,000-person nationally representative survey in the USA with firm GfK. The survey found that 65% of all women had experienced street harassment. Among all women, 23%  had been sexually touched, 20% had been followed, and 9% had been forced to do something sexual.

Among men, 25% had been street harassed (a higher percentage of LGBT-identified men than heterosexual men reported this) and their most common form of harassment was homophobic or transphobic slurs (9%).

READFull Report* | Executive Summary | Press Release

*If you’re using Mozilla, download the report before viewing it… There seem to be browser issues and some text is missing if you view it directly in the Mozilla browser



The end of hisses, whistles and stares: we need to walk the streets without fear,” The Guardian

New Study Suggests Street Harassment is Widespread,” Washington Post

Two-Thirds of Women in the US have been Street Harassed,” Feministing

Making Public Places Safe and Welcoming for Women,” HuffPostLive segment

LGBT Men Experience High Rates of Street Harassment,” Human Rights Campaign

Two Thirds of Women Surveyed Report Being Sexually Harassed on the Street, and Apparently It’s Up to Us to Change That,” Glamour

Smile, Baby! A New Study Shows How Often Women and Gay Men Are Sexually Harassed on the Street,” Slate

National survey finds that most women experience street harassment, but most women already knew that,”

The Deeply Disturbing Truth About Street Harassment in America,” AlterNet

Report: Street Harassment a Major Problem in the United States,” The Huffington Post

How Street Harassment Affects Cyclists,” Philly Pedals

Two Thirds Of U.S. Women Have Been Harassed Simply For Walking Down The Street,” ThinkProgress

What It’s Really Like to Live a Day in the Life of an American Woman,” PolicyMic

Gay, Bisexual And Queer Men From DC Shares Street Harassment Stories,” DCist

A New Report Reveals the Realities of Street Harassment,” Bitch Media

The Next Time Someone Says Catcalling Is a Compliment, Show Them This,” PolicyMic

Street Harassment: A Bigger Problem Than People Realize,” Elle

An Open Letter to My Street Harassers,” Hello Giggles

New Report Details Street Harassment Faced By Native Women, Women and Men Across America,” First Peoples Worldwide

In School or in the Street, Sexual Harassment Is a Daily Problem,” AAUW Blog, cross-posted at Fem2Pt0

When Will We Take Street Harassment Seriously?” Role/Reboot

Street Harassment Is a Huge Problem, Even in a Moving Vehicle,” Nerve

Now We Know How Many Women Get Groped by Men in Public,” Mother Jones

Survey finds 65% of US women harassed in public,” Circa

Street Harassment Survey Results Are Depressingly Predictable,” Jezebel

Street Harassment Affects White Men, Too – But Affects Just About Everyone Else More,” Bustle

Latinas Most Likely Group to Experience Street Harassment at Young Age, Most Fearful of Escalation,” Latin Post

65% of Women Have Been Harassed on Street,” Newser

Quoted: Mother Jones On The Ugly Data Of Street Harassment,” Racialicious

The Danger at the Intersection of Street Harassment and Compulsory Heterosexuality,” AutoStraddle

Street Harassment USA,” Ms Magazine

107 Million Women in the U.S. Have Experienced Street Harassment,” Fusion

Sixty-five percent of all women have experienced street harassment, a new survey says,”

These 6 Alarming Charts Will Open Your Eyes To The Prevalence Of Street Harassment,”

Street harassment is now the norm, according to a disturbing new study,” The Daily Dot

Study Confirms What It’s Like To Walk Down The Street While Female,” Huffington Post

Study confirms what it feels like to walk down the street while female,” Daily Times (Pakistan)

Street harassment is not a compliment,” The Dialog (Canadian University Press Newswire)

Newsradio 1070 WKOK and in Sunbury, PA

The Michelangelo Signorile Show on SiriusXM Progress 127

How a Fake Phone Number Teaches Guys About Feminism,” Yahoo! Shine

We Must Put an End to Street Harassment,” Morocco World New

Unsafe Streets: Report Finds Pervasive Harassment on U.S. Streets,” Planetizen

Things every man should understand about #YesAllWomen,” The Manitoban (student newspaper of University of Manitoba)

Bicycling in D.C.: Where are the women?,” WTOP (mentions a statistic from the report)

#YouOKSis? It’s Time For Men To Be Proactive In Helping Women Fight Street Harassment,” NewsOne

A Subway Creep Exposes Himself, and Then Learns He Messed With the Wrong Woman,” Mic

I got 99 climate change problems — don’t make sexual harassment one,” Grist

Look away, men: A gaze can hurt. Men can appreciate a pretty girl without being aggressive,” The Hamilton Spectator

#YouOKSis Street Harassment Tweet Chat,” The WIP

‘Gang of Lesbian Killers’ Reveal the Homophobia That Landed Them Behind Bars,” TakePart

The US Will Never Be the ‘Land of the Free’ Until We Address Street Harassment,” Huffington Post

“‘Even If You Don’t Like It, You’re Supposed to Appear That You Do,'” The Atlantic

Watch These Catcalling Men Get the Comeback of a Lifetime,” TakePart

Woman’s ‘Cards Against Harassment’ Campaign Fights Everyday Chauvinism,” Mashable

This Minneapolis Woman Found the Perfect Way to Take on Street Harassment,” Mic

The Best Way to Respond to Cat Callers,” Shape

Woman confronts cat-callers with hidden video camera,” CBC News

Experts: Sexual harassment on transit underreported,” RedEye Chicago

It’s not OK to grope women on the street. That includes beauty queens,” Salon

This is why you should stop telling us all to smile,” Metro UK

NYC women take to social media to fight street harassment,” AM New York

When is it appropriate to catcall a woman? Playboy’s answer,” the Globe and Mail

Mainstream Media is Slowly Learning That Catcalls Are Not Compliments,” Bitch Media

Members of the media can direct interview requests and inquiries to report author Holly Kearl, hkearl@

METHODOLOGY: The report is comprised of a mixture of survey findings, focus group summaries, and recommendations from experts and activists.

* SSH worked with the non-partisan national surveying firm GfK to conduct a nationally representative survey about street harassment in the USA with 2,000 respondents. It is ground-breaking for being the largest national survey to-date on the topic, the first statistically significant survey to include men, and the first to include how street harassment uniquely impacts people based on their race, income and sexual orientation/gender expression.

NOTE: It is not 100% comprehensive given the 2,000 person sample size (which is what we could afford after nearly two years of fundraising). For example, persons with disabilities or persons in smaller racial groups, like Asians, were not examined as a category because of how few respondents reflected those identities. We hope this study can be a jumping off point and inspiration for a HUGE study on street harassment that is inclusive of more people’s experiences and also looks at WHY street harassment happens.

* Ten focus groups compliment the survey findings in the research report. Examples of the focus groups — Native Americans in SD, queer women of color in NY, Latinas in FL, college students of color in MD, and men of various races who identify as GBQ in D.C. Several focus group participants will be available for an interview.

* A dozen interviews with experts and activists help shape the recommendations and “promising practices” section of the report.

WHY GFK CUSTOM RESEARCH LLC: In 2011, SSH founder and then American Association of University Women Program Manager Holly Kearl co-authored a national study on sexual harassment in grades 7-12. Kearl and her co-author Dr. Catherine Hill wrote the survey questions, analyzed the data, and wrote the research report, but GfK Custom Research LLC, named Knowledge Networks at the time, conducted the survey. Because Knowledge Networks has sound surveying methods and extensive experience conducting surveys the AAUW study was featured in AP, New York Times, Washington Post, Education Week, NPR, and more. Knowledge Networks was easy to work with, professional, and prompt.

The White House administration called the survey the “gold standard” for studying the topic.

The report was funded entirely by generous individual donors, with special thanks to major donor Marty Langelan.

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