AUSTRALIAN women will cross the street, pretend to talk on their phones or use their keys as weapons when facing street harassment.
Research by The Australia Institute reveals nine out of 10 Australian women have been harassed in public.
The survey of 1426 females found 87% were verbally or physically attacked while walking down the street and men were responsible for 52% of the attacks.
And 40% of women feel unsafe in their own neighbourhoods at night.
The researchers also found 83% of women aged 18 to 24 were publicly harassed in the past 12 months while 87% changed their behaviour protect themselves.
TAI researcher Molly Johnson said women crossed the street to avoid strangers, pretended to have phone conversations and were prepared to use their keys as a weapon.
"These behaviours reveal the extent to which women feel under threat, particularly when alone in public at night," she said.
"In addition to verbal harassment, physical street harassment is also a relatively commonplace occurrence, with 65% of women experiencing physically threatening harassment.
"One third of women had been kissed without their consent and a quarter of women report being threatened after rejecting the sexual advances of a stranger."
- APN NEWSDESK