Survey shows one in three female commuters of public transport has experience with sexual harassments

One in three female commuters of public transport has experience with sexual harassments while using public transport, according to a survey conducted by Safe Cities for Women Network.

Altogether 1,500 women were sampled during September-October period last year with the survey result to be made public to coincide with the International Women’s Day on Wednesday.

In summation, the survey showed that one in three women who used public transport such as bus, motorcycle taxi, taxi, high-speed train or passenger van had encountered sexual harassments in different forms such as verbal, visual, eye or body contact.

According to the survey, buses ranked top with the highest incidence of sexual harassments, followed by motorcycle taxis, taxis, electric trains and passenger vans. When asked about the situations women felt most vulnerable to sexual harassments, 26 percent said they felt unsafe walking alone in soi; 25 percent said walking at night or before dawn; 16 percent said while riding alone in a taxi; 13.5 percent said riding on a bus, a passenger van or train.

The most common form of sexual harassments was verbal harassment, 26 percent; whistling, 18 percent; eye-contact, 18 percent; body contact, 17 percent; exhibitionism, 7 percent.

Asked about their reactive responses to sexual harassments, 38 percent said they kept silient, showed their dissent on their faces or distanced themselves from the abusers; 21 percent said they shouted or reprimanded their abusers; 16 percent said they were indifferent; 12 percent admitted that they took their cases to the police.

Meanwhile, Ms Rungthip Imrungruang, policy director of Action Aid organization, said women in urban areas, especially in slums, were most vulnerable to sexual violence.

She said there were 30,000 rape cases during 2009-2013, but only about 4,000 cases were reported to the police or 13 percent.