One in three girls in the UK has been sexually harassed in public when wearing school uniform, a new report has suggested.
And two-thirds of girls say they have experienced unwanted sexual attention in public, it adds.
The figures come from a report by children’s charity Plan International UK, which said many girls feel street harassment is “all part of growing up”.
It is calling on bystanders to challenge harassment when they see it.
The charity commissioned an opinion poll by Opinium of 1,000 teenagers and young women aged 14 to 21 across the UK in June 2018, and also carried out interviews with girls and academics.
The report features stories from several young women, including 19-year-old Malikah, from Birmingham, who said she was followed by someone in a car while walking alone.
“My phone was upside-down, but I pretended to be on the phone and was trying to make out like my dad was coming to pick me up,” she said.
“Now my parents are more cautious about when I’ll be home and going out after dark.”
One 18-year-old said she felt street harassment was “part of the ‘bro culture'” and her dad had told her: “You know what men are like.”
And another girl, aged 17, said: “It’s just become normal.”
Hollaback! – an international movement tackling harassment – says there is no right or wrong way to respond.
But if you choose to speak directly to the assailant, it offers the following advice:
The charity is calling on the government to recognise street harassment as a type of “gender-based violence”.
It has made several recommendations, including:
The chief executive of Plan International UK, Tanya Barron, said it was “shocking and deeply concerning” that girls who are clearly of school age are being sexually harassed.