On the subway this morning, you notice a man staring at you. He inches closer and closer until he is practically leaning into you—and you really don't want him to. Would you report it?
At least that’s what the campaign “Report It To Stop It” is encouraging women to answer. Transport for London created the campaign to try to tackle sexual harassment and assault on public transport. The campaign’s new video shows a woman experiencing sexual harassment from another transit passenger, and with each action, the video asks, "Would you report it?"
Although many might think the obvious answer is “yes,” this response is not as common as you’d think. According to Transport for London, 90 percent of unwanted sexual attention on the tube goes unreported.
Women often do not report sexual harassment for a number of reasons, which are listed on the campaign’s Tumblr page. Some women are afraid that they won’t be taken seriously, or that it’s not a big deal in either their lives or the lives of police. Transport for London assured that they will always treat victims with respect. “Nobody should be made to feel uncomfortable on their journey,” read the campaign’s Tumblr page. “No incident is too minor.”
“You can report anything of a sexual nature, including rubbing, groping, masturbation, leering, sexual comments, indecent acts, or someone taking photos of you without your consent,” according to the “Report It To Stop It” website.
Both men and women can experience unwanted behaviors in public. Therefore, both genders should always feel empowered to report anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Although the “Report It To Stop It” campaign is a step in the right direction, Transport for London left out one thing. Getting people to stop harassing others in the first place is the best way to stop sexual harassment.