By Biodun Busari
Home Secretary of the United Kingdom, Suella Braverman has said street harassment will attract jail sentences of up to two years, according to BBC.
In the UK, sexual harassment is already illegal but it is believed making a new offence for street harassment will encourage more people to report it to the police.
“Every woman should feel safe to walk our streets. We are putting the needs of victims at the heart of our decision, which will mean the criminals who commit these acts face the consequences they deserve,” Braverman said.
According to a survey by BBC published in March, two-thirds of women did not feel safe walking alone at night, at least some of the time.
The survey revealed that females under 34 are most likely to be the target of sexual offences but the least likely to report them, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
A former business secretary, Greg Clark advocated legislation against street harassment and the government is set to ratify that.
Clark said it is “to reinforce a change in the culture that establishes that it is completely unacceptable to abuse women in the streets.”
During a debate in the House of Commons, Clark said: “Public sexual harassment can affect men and boys, but we should be clear that it disproportionately affects women and girls.”
As it stands, the bill will also introduce harsher sentences – increasing the maximum number of sentences from six months to two years.