It’s now almost five months since Edinburgh Hollaback published an excellent report highlighting the continued issue of street harassment.
The response the organisation received blew me away. Hollaback leaders said around 100 young people were contacted in the survey, which was sent out on social networks and through the YWCA, LGBT Youth, the Equality Network and Shakti Women’s Aid.
I was deeply disappointed by what these women had to say. One young lady complained about being harassed in the meadows while out having a walk and wearing her school uniform. Another said she never felt safe and always stayed on her guard.
With opinions and experiences like these I was delighted to hear strong statements from people such as the Council’s Community Safety Leader Councilor Cammy Day, The Police and of Course Ellie Hutchinson the chair of Edinburgh Hollaback condemning this incredibly poor behavior.
The shocking news that girls as young as 12 were the victims of harassment should have made those responsible hold their heads in shame while repenting their actions.
Sadly, with the recent good weather I’ve had numerous emails from constituents complaining about being harassed by mindless yobs while out trying to enjoy the sunshine. This behavior is not big and it’s not clever and needs to stop.
Edinburgh has a reputation as being a friendly and welcoming city. I for one feel it’s completely unacceptable for women or anybody else to be harassed and embarrassed.
I hope, as we prepare for more good weather, that Police Scotland will take a strong line on this If you are the victim of harassment I urge you to contact the Police or local councillor. I’m confident that with publicity and education we can eradicate street harassment in Edinburgh. It will take victims being brave enough to report incidents and the men behind it realising they need to grow up.
• Alex Lunn is the councillor for the Craigentinny/Duddingston ward