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A graphic depicting thoughtful teenage girls holding mobile phones, with one hand signaling "Stop." Many adolescents report feeling unsafe and anxious in their daily lives,

particularly when it comes to issues such as sexual harassment and personal safety while walking alone.

A recent survey involving 2,000 young individuals aged 13 to 18 has unveiled disconcerting statistics. Notably, over a quarter of girls (27%) disclosed that they have encountered some form of sexual harassment. Furthermore, a significant portion (44%) expressed that they do not feel secure when navigating the streets by themselves.

Conducted by the polling firm Survation on behalf of BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Bitesize, this comprehensive survey delved into various aspects of teenagers' lives, including body image, anxiety, vaping, and online safety.

Among the survey's findings was a concern among teenagers regarding the prevalence of explicit content on social media platforms, particularly the influence of controversial figure Andrew Tate. Almost a third of those surveyed had viewed videos featuring Tate, with many admitting to liking them. A notable number of respondents also reported experiencing anxiety on a frequent or constant basis.

Reflecting on her experiences since entering Year 7 at the age of 11, 13-year-old Bobbie shared that she now feels considerably less secure while making her way home from school. She recounted instances of verbal harassment and unwelcome advances, even from individuals significantly older than her.

"It can be quite scary sometimes," Bobbie confessed to BBC Radio 5 Live. "Getting shouted at, people saying: 'You look good babes.' Sometimes it's people grabbing my arm in the street - I was once chased by people two or three times my age."

Fourteen-year-old Princess revealed that she has devised alternative routes for her journey home from school, which she occasionally employs if she senses any danger. She constantly monitors who is behind her.

Other teenagers emphasized the impact of their clothing choices on their daily experiences. Fifteen-year-old Sonia explained, "The way you look has a huge difference on what happens outside. If I'm in a dress or wearing a crop-top and tight clothing, I'm not going to have a peaceful day."

Concerningly, 16-year-old Rofeda expressed the fear that ignoring or confronting instances of sexual harassment might escalate into dangerous situations. "You don't want it to escalate to things you can't handle," agreed Kayla, 18.

The survey also revealed that a substantial proportion of teenage boys, 24%, share similar concerns about safety while walking alone at night. Fifteen-year-old Ashley disclosed, "If there's a group of boys looking at me and I'm on my own and it's dark, I fear for my safety. I worry about getting jumped - you see so many videos on social media about people being attacked and it makes you feel threatened."

Advocates, like Rosie, 16, from the women's safety campaign "Our Streets Now," stress the importance of educating individuals about why sexual harassment is unacceptable. Rosie asserted, "Telling them that it's a crime - it's not a compliment, it's not a flattering thing. This isn't something that should be yelled across the street at someone minding their own business."

In addition to these concerns, the survey highlighted the influence of online influencers, particularly in the case of Andrew Tate. More than a third of the 1,000 teenage boys surveyed admitted to watching videos featuring Tate. It's worth noting that Tate and his brother have been released from house arrest in Romania while facing charges of rape and human trafficking, charges they vehemently deny. Photo by SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, Wikimedia commons.