Girl Guides Safety Campaign

Girlguiding has shared their annual Girls’ Attitudes survey in light of the tragic news about Sarah Everard’s death and escalating conversations about women and girls’ safety in public. The survey once again reveals the extent to which girls and young women feel unsafe in their everyday lives.

Dr Lisa Cameron has supported the report and its findings highlighting a “concerning but longstanding trend”. The survey annually asks over 2,000 girls and young women to tell us how they feel about their everyday lives.

This year the survey found that 26% of girls aged 7-10, 41% aged 11-16 and 49% aged 17-21 feel unsafe when they’re outside. Their survey from 2018 found that 82% of women aged 13 to 21 have experienced or know someone who has experienced sexual harassment in a public place.

In 2017 their survey alarmingly found that 64% of girls aged 13-21 said they’ve experienced sexual harassment at school in the past year. These findings highlight the concern many have for girls and women’s safety.

The report also found that 73% of women aged 11-21 want more opportunities for young people in politics and decision making.

As the chair of the APPG for mentoring, Dr Lisa Cameron recognised increased leadership opportunities for women are vital to their future.

Girlguiding CEO Angela Salt OBE, Chief Guide Amanda Medler and Chair of the Board of Trustees Catherine Irwin said “Women and girls have a right to feel and be safe at all times of the day and night. Girlguiding’s vision is for an equal world – where girls and young women can be safe, happy and fulfil their potential.

Our Girls’ Attitudes Survey shows that a quarter (26%) of girls aged 7 to 10 feel unsafe when they go outdoors, increasing to two in five (41%) 17 to 21-year-olds. Eight in ten (82%) girls and young women aged 13 to 21 have experienced or know someone who has experienced sexual harassment in a public place. This needs to change. Girlguiding supports a change in the law to make public sexual harassment a crime.”

Dr Lisa Cameron added, “This is not just a concerning new trend but a longstanding culture of violence that affects mental health. That is why I am supporting girl guiding’s calls for the Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy 2021-2024 to include

explicit action to address the safety concerns of girls and young women and making public sexual harassment a crime.”