Hundreds of women report city centre harassment in safety app survey

A new safety app saw more than 600 women across Glasgow share experiences of harassment over recent months.

Hundreds of women report Glasgow city centre harassment in safety app survey STV News

Hundreds of women have made reports of harassment and intimidation on streets across Glasgow over recent months as part of a survey on a safety app. 

One woman shared her story of being followed home from Sauchiehall Street by a man who tried to get in her door, while another said she avoids it all together after dark. 

She said: “One night I got followed home when alone. A guy started tailing me, about three or four paces behind.

“He was outside a chip shop on Sauchiehall Street and followed me to the front door of my flat.

“He then tried to get in the front door as I got my keys out but when I asked what he was doing and said my boyfriend was in, he fled.”

Another woman commented: “The level of anti-social behaviour on Sauchiehall Street is so bad that, if I’m on my own, I will cut along one of the worst lit, more isolated streets that runs parallel to get to somewhere on Sauchiehall Street rather than walk down it in the dark.”

Other incidents raised included a man asking a woman for sex as he walked behind her in Wellington Street, while another woman reported a man urinating beside her as she sat on a bench in George Square during daylight.

The women affected raised their concerns on a safety app survey containing a map of the city, between December 10 and March 1. 

There were more than 600 contributions in north, south, west and east Glasgow.

Women who took part in the survey said that Glasgow Central Station is intimidating when waiting for a taxi and there is a lack of police. 

Commenting on issues around Central Station, one woman said: “You can wait in a taxi queue for over an hour at the weekends to try and get home. Drunk men can often approach and harass you and you can’t leave because you need transport home.

“There are often a lot of homeless people also asking for money and occasionally men taking drugs on the street.”

The heatmap from organisations Wise Women, Glasgow Girls Club, Commonplace and Glasgow Violence Against Women Partnership was designed to consult with woman about their experiences in public places. 

Groups of men, lack of police, poorly lit areas, anti-social behaviour, and feeling isolating were some of the concerns raised. 

The survey results are set to be used to shape policy in the future to help make women feel safer, with the findings sharing experiences females endure as they go about their daily lives. 

A report on the findings said: “At the end of the day harassment and abuse is the responsibility of the perpetrators.

“The women who have contributed to this survey have tried to live their lives in peace and safety, but time and again perpetrators have exploited their position of power to intimidate, threaten and humiliate women just for being in public.”

A spokeswoman for Glasgow’s Violence Against Women Partnership said: “We are supporting the voluntary sector organisation Wise Women to gather information on women’s perceptions of public safety in the city.

“The findings of this pro-active piece of work will be analysed to provide an understanding of when and how women use public spaces as well as which spaces they don’t use and why.

“The findings will be shared with all relevant agencies to help inform and support planning, policy and practical strategies which could help make women feel safer and more confident in public.”

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