The rate of sexual harassment among unmarried adolescents is twice that of married adolescents. It can be explained as the married adolescents are less likely to be sexually harassed. The detrimental social consequence of this reality is that it increases the risk of child marriage. Parents want to be safe by marrying girls before they reach the age of marriage. The survey found that sexual harassment of adolescents was more common on roads. This means that their safety decreases as they move out of the home, increasing their risk of sexual harassment. It is a matter of maintaining law and order, which is the responsibility of the police force. But when our police force has to struggle to stop serious crimes like murder and rape, it becomes very hard for them to focus on preventing sexual harassment of teenagers on the streets.
Sexual harassment of teenage girls has been listed as a problem for the health and wellbeing of adolescent girls in the report of ‘Bangladesh Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Survey 2019-20’. Sexual harassment is a damaging experience and it may leave a long-lasting and far-reaching negative impact on adolescent minds. This can lead to trauma, which can result to panic and depression, isolation, unreasonable self-loathing, guilt and such other emotions. As a result, her studies may be damaged and she may end up as victim of child marriage.
We cannot afford to ignore the issue. Steps aimed at preventing rape and other violent behaviours should be introduced to curb sexual harassment of adolescents.