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Revealed

Most young women in Britain have been sexually harassed

And a quarter of women say it started when they were under 16 years old

MOST young women in the UK have been sexually harassed in public places and very few people step in to intervene, according to a new survey.

The YouGov study found 85% of women between 18 and 24 had been sexually harassed, with just under half (45%) experiencing unwanted sexual touching.

According to the survey 64% of women of all ages had experienced harassment, with more than a third (35%) experiencing touching.

 According to the survey 64% of women of all ages had experienced harassment (picture posed by models)
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According to the survey 64% of women of all ages had experienced harassment (picture posed by models)

More than a quarter of the women who had experienced sexual touching or harassment said they were under 16 when it first happened.

Only 11% reported someone else had intervened on their behalf when they were being inappropriately touched, with eight in 10 saying they would have liked someone to have done so.

The survey was commissioned by the End Violence Against Women Coalition to coincide with International Women's Day.

 35% of women said they had experienced unwanted sexual touching
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35% of women said they had experienced unwanted sexual touching

Sarah Green, acting director at the EVAW, said: "If women are planning their lives around not being harassed or assaulted, they are not free.

“Women should be free to live their lives without the threat of harassment or violence, and not having to plan and limit their choices to make sure they are safe."

Charlotte Barlow, a criminologist at Birmingham City University, told Sky News that the age of women who were getting sexually harassed was getting younger.

"It should be seen as something that is more likely to happen in adulthood but it starts with young girls as well.

"We are encouraged to take this kind of thing as a compliment, or if we do call it out we are viewed to be a feminist killjoy or someone who can't take a joke."

 YouGov found 85% of women between 18 and 24 had been sexually harassed
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YouGov found 85% of women between 18 and 24 had been sexually harassed

Women who took part in the survey said there needed to be more police, better street lighting and public awareness campaigns to encourage others to intervene.

Later this month EVAW will be launching a manifesto on ending violence against women and girls for the London mayoral candidates ahead of the city's election in May.