New research, released on the eve of International Women’s Day, finds that nine in ten Australian women have experienced street harassment and modify their behaviour in response.

Actions women are taking for their personal safety include everything from crossing the street to avoid strangers, to pretending to have a conversation on their phone, to grasping their keys as a weapon.

The survey of 1426 Australians, commissioned by The Australia Institute, revealed:

  • 87% of Australian women have experienced at least one form of verbal or physical street harassment.

– Among those 56% were alone the last time it happened;

– 52% reported harassment was by a man, 23% by a group of men, 4% by women.

  • 83% of those age 18-24 experienced street harassment in the last 12 months
  • 40% of Australian women do not feel safe when walking alone at night in the area where they currently live, compared to 17% of men
  • 87% of Australian women have changed their behaviour in at least one way to ensure their own personal safety in the last 12 months 

Full report