One in three Czech women has experienced sexual harassment on public transport

About one in three women have experienced sexual harassment on public transport. One in ten men has had the same experience. A quarter of passengers have witnessed harassing behavior. 

This was revealed in a survey on sexual harassment on public transport conducted by Focus for the Government Office. The results were presented by Radan Šafařík, head of the government department, at a press conference on Wednesday. He said that measures were being prepared. European subsidies or money from Norwegian funds should also be used to strengthen security.

A representative survey in April and May involved 1 009 people over 15 years old from all over the country. A total of 35 percent of women and 10 percent of men have been victims of sexual harassment. A quarter of the respondents knew someone in their neighborhood who had experienced harassment. The same proportion had witnessed harassing behavior when traveling.

Respondents mentioned staring and lascivious glances, unwarranted entry into an intimate area, shouting, inappropriate comments and suggestions, sexual gestures and movements, obstruction of movement and representation of the way, forcing an appointment, as well as exhibitionism, unwanted touching, and kissing, or forcing and attempting sex.

“We see from other studies across the EU that, in general, sexual harassment is relatively common in the Czech Republic. We are slightly above average. We have a gap with other Eastern European countries in that a large part of the public is still unaware of the seriousness of the problem, ” Šafařík said.

Women were more likely to perceive harassment. Almost three-fifths of them mentioned staring and unwarranted entry into an intimate zone. A quarter of them said they had been groped in traffic, and seven percent had experienced attempted rape. “If we translate this to the whole population, it is a relatively big problem,” Šafařík noted.