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05 Oct 2022

Louth senator calls for catcalling to become criminal offence

Senator McGreehan calls for public sexual harassment to become criminal offence.

Louth senator calls for catcalling  to become criminal  offence

Senator McGreehan calls for public sexual harassment to become criminal offence.

Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan is calling for catcalling and other forms of public sexual harassment to become a criminal offence.

The Louth Senator says she is repeating calls she has made in the past for the action, following reports that public sexual harassment could become a criminal offence in England and Wales.

Senator McGreehan commented, “Sexual harassment in public spaces, be it on the street or on public transport, are an everyday occurrence for women and girls.

“Unsolicited shouting, whether that be so-called compliments, whistling or whatever the case may be, can be very intimidating to a young woman, or any woman, who is walking down the street.  

“This past April we saw the Amárach research with Maryfield College in Drumcondra that highlighted that our young girls, our teenagers, our children are being catcalled with sexually explicit comments and I really do think we need to be able to protect that and make sure that young girls and women feel safe on our streets. France and Belgium have done this before and I think we have a big problem here in Ireland.”

Senator McGreehan added,  “We need awareness. We need to challenge the norms and be able to stand up and call out this behaviour. When we do, however, we also need other people to say they will call it out with us. We need awareness and education, and we need to legislate.”

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