'Staring sexually' among seven forms of harassment listed ahead of Night Tube reopening

·Freelance Writer
·4-min read
'Staring sexually' on list of harassment behaviours ahead of Night Tube reopening
'Staring sexually' on list of harassment behaviours ahead of Night Tube reopening. (TfL)

Staring in an “intrusive, sexual nature” is one of seven forms of sexual harassment on a list of offences ahead of the Night Tube reopening.

London Underground’s Night Tube will resume next month after being suspended in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Transport for London (TfL) said services on the Central and Victoria lines will run through the night on Fridays and Saturdays from Saturday, 27 November.

And to make sure that women who fought to get the service back up and running genuinely feel safe using it, TfL has outlined seven key offences.

One of those is ‘intrusive staring of a sexual nature’ at passengers – and anyone who witnesses or experiences that, or any of the other offences, is urged to report them.

Commuters using the London Underground transport system.
The campaign against sexual harassment comes ahead of the Night Tube reopening. (Getty)
The TfL campaign highlights the offences that should be reported. (TfL)
The TfL campaign highlights the offences that should be reported. (TfL)

The forms of sexual harassment that the campaign is targeting are:

  1. Cat calling – making unsolicited remarks of a sexual nature about someone

  2. Exposing – revealing intimate body parts

  3. Cyber-flashing – sending or showing sexual content without consent

  4. Pressing – rubbing against someone on purpose

  5. Touching – touching someone inappropriately

  6. Staring – intrusive staring of a sexual nature

  7. Upskirting – taking photos under someone’s clothing

Adverts highlighting the offences have already begun appearing on the Tube, while a series of posters have also been designed to be shared across social media.

Official estimates of how many women have faced sexual harassments are not available, with many instances the crimes going unreported.

Watch: Sadiq Khan: Violence against women 'is an epidemic'

However, a YouGov poll for UN Women found that 70% of women had faced some form of sexual harassment in public, while the figure stood at 90% for younger women.

The survey also found that four out of 10 had been groped or faced unwelcome touching, while one in five had been victims of indecent exposure.

Recent research by the House of Commons Library also suggested that more than two million crimes against women and girls have gone unreported in the last two years, with only one in three women reporting an offence.

Since 2018, an estimated 2,009,885 crimes against women and girls may have gone unreported, as only one in three women who was a victim say they reported it to cops.

In the year ending March 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated that some 4.9 million women had been victims of sexual assault in their lives.

While the Central and Victoria line Night Tube will be resumed, other lines aren’t set to open up until next year due to a shortage of drivers and the pandemic.

Tory backbencher Andrew Rosindell wrote to London mayor Sadiq Khan to say the plans are “simply not good enough”, demanding a return to “full resumption of all lines” to “make London’s streets safer for women and girls”.

A London Underground roundel alongside an advert for the night tube at Oxford Circus underground station, in London, as the new night tube service launches on August 19 operating on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Night Tube is set to reopen later this month. (PA)

A spokesperson for Khan said the Night Tube was important to the safety of “everyone travelling home at night, particularly women and girls”.

Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for transport, said: “Any incident of sexual harassment on our public transport network is one too many, and ensuring that women and girls feel safe while travelling around the capital is our top priority.

“This new campaign sends a strong message to offenders that unwanted sexual behaviour is never acceptable in any form, and encourages anyone who has experienced or witnessed it to report it.”

The TfL campaign is aimed at ensuring the safety of women on the London Underground. (Getty/posed by model)
The TfL campaign is aimed at ensuring the safety of women on the London Underground. (Getty/posed by model)

The TfL campaign comes after schoolteacher Sabina Nessa, 28, was attacked and murdered as she walked through Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London, on her way to meet a friend on 17 September.

Her death, as well as the murder of Sarah Everard by serving police officer Wayne Couzens in March, have shone the spotlight on the safety of women.

Labour MP Stella Creasy MP said that police “must show women and girls that the crimes they face are taken seriously” following the murders.

Yahoo News UK has contacted End Violence Against Women and Against Violence and Abuse for a comment on TfL’s campaign.

Watch: Campaigner: Women's safety phone number 'white washes issue'

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting