Young women claim they have resorted to hiding in shops and running to safety because of the harassment they face on Sydney streets.
A global survey of 750 women found catcalling is one of the most common forms of street harassment in Delhi, Kampala, Lima, Madrid and Sydney.
The research by humanitarian group Plan International was undertaken between April and June 2018 and found 34 per cent of Sydney women experienced verbal threats while 32 per cent were exposed to catcalling in public places.
Some 43 per cent of Sydney woman surveyed were aged between 21 and 25 while 26 per cent were between 16 and 20.
One 18-year-old Sydney woman said she was catcalled by construction workers on her way to a job interview.
“(It) threw me off for the rest of the day – being catcalled makes you want to cover yourself in heaps of layers and hide,” she said in the report released on Tuesday.
It suggested 82 per cent of harassment in Sydney happened on the street, 14 per cent on public transport and nine per cent in parks and shops.
Most of the reported harassment happened in the afternoon and evening.
A 23-year-old woman claimed she was followed by two men in a car while she was returning from a party.
“I ran and hid in someone’s front yard. Within one minute the car returned, slowly doing laps of the street. They eventually drove off and I ran home terrified,” she said in the report.
Another woman, 19, said she ended up hiding in a shop with a friend after men in a van started following them and yelling at them from the car.
Of the women surveyed, five per cent revealed they were physically assaulted.
“Ass grabbed under my skirt by one guy whilst walking past a group of males on my way home. His friends defended him when I got in his face,” a 23-year-old woman said.
Plan International Australia chief executive Susanne Legena says most harassment in Sydney involves groups of men yelling out from vehicles.
“Men and boys are pushing girls and women out of public spaces and denying them their right to freedom of movement with sexist, often vicious behaviour,” she said in a statement.