Harrogate Feminists

Feeling safe in public places: a survey

As part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Violence, we conducted a survey in Harrogate to find out how safe or unsafe people feel when they are out in public spaces (eg on the street, or on public transport).

We surveyed 68 people, of all ages from teenagers to people in their eighties. We’ve sent the report to Harrogate’s Safer Communities Partnership.

Key Messages

In Harrogate, as has been shown throughout England and Wales, a high proportion of women in our survey felt unsafe in public places (on the street or on public transport), particularly at night (half of all women surveyed did not feel safe when out at night). People who had experienced verbal or physical harassment in public places during the past year tended to feel less safe at night. Furthermore, people who had ever received physical harassment in public places tended to feel less safe at night, compared to people who had never been physically harassed.

Women tended to respond to this type of harassment by changing their behaviour, particularly avoiding going out alone at night. 21% of female (but no male) respondents said they avoided going out at night at all. Women also reported feeling vulnerable on public transport and on the streets around pubs and clubs.

Further studies are needed to determine whether this self-imposed “curfew” may adversely affect women’s quality of life and career prospects, and whether the perceived threat from strangers may lead women to make paradoxically risky choices in their efforts to avoid being out alone at night.

Detailed report sections

Who took part?

How common is harassment?

Comparison of responses from men and women

How do previous experiences colour people’s attitudes and behaviours?

Is it an age thing?

What people said

What we thought about it all


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