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One In Two Young Australian Women Surveyed Have Been Sexually Harassed In Public

Most women surveyed said they had never reported the harassment to police or other authority figures.

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A majority (55%) of Australian women aged 18 to 24 have experienced sexual harassment in a public place in the last five years, a YouGov survey has found.

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But most (67%) of the 459 women surveyed said they had never reported it to the police or an authority figure.

Streets and pubs, clubs or bars are the places where harassment is most likely to occur, the research found.

Half (55%) of young women who have been harassed reported that it occurred at public events like festivals, concerts or sports matches while 54% state it happened on public transport.

A quarter (26%) said it occurred in the workplace.

Sexual Harassment Complaint Form
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Sexual Harassment Complaint Form

On average, 34% of all Australian women surveyed had been harassed and the rate of harassment dropped off with age.


The most common form of harassment was verbal comments of a sexual nature - with 53% of women aged 18 to 24 said someone had made sexual remarks to them that made them feel uncomfortable.

Half of young women (46%) said that they had been made to feel uncomfortable by jokes of a sexual nature, and 46% had experienced inappropriate touching.

A further 41% had received inappropriate emails, letters or texts, 23% had been sent pictures or photos of a sexual nature, and 21% had been inappropriately hugged.

YouGov conducted the survey via online polling.

Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Gina Rushton at

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