97 Percent


Women all over the world are sharing their stories of sexual harassment on TikTok

97 percent. 

This number stems from a report done by the United Nations Entity For Gender Equality and Empowerment of women. This study polled women aged 18-24 in the United Kingdoms, finding that 97% of them have been sexually harassed in a public setting. This study was brought to the public after the kidnapping and death of 33-year-old Sarah Everard in the U.K. 

On the app TikTok, women from all over the world have begun posting videos telling their own stories of sexual harassment. Others have shared advice on how to protect yourself in dangerous situations, from making homemade pepper spray to self-defense mechanisms.

While the percentage of 97% has caused controversy with people claiming that it isn’t correct, the message behind the trend still stands strong. Users on the app argue that any percentage above zero is too high, and others refute the argument that “it’s not all men.” One male Tik Tok went on to compare men to sharks, stating  “why do you swim away from sharks if not all sharks attack?” 

It can be difficult to understand what exactly sexual harassment can be classified as.  According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advancement, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature. They establish that unwelcome behavior is any behavior a victim finds unwelcome even if consent is involved. 

I am part of the 97 percent. 

From unsolicited messages, catcalls, and inappropriate statements and advances, I have been sexually harassed. I have undergone the same experiences that women all over the globe, the country, our school, have. This trend is eye-opening as It shows the normalcy of sexual harassment in women’s daily lives. That this harassment is more common than it is not, as we have felt uncomfortable by men, and have not known what to do. That unwanted advances, comments, and touches have an effect on us.  

By understanding the message of 97%, we are slapped for the rude awakening that this shared experience is one no one should have to go through. That enough is enough, and that no means no. That we have the duty to protect the 3% percent left unbroken.