A recent survey was conducted on 6,502 tourists passing through airports in Crete, Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Spain and found that 8.6% of people fell victim to sexual harassment on their holiday, while 1.5% were raped.
The survey also showed that one in ten British women are sexually harassed or assaulted while on holiday and one in fifteen men were victims of sexual harassment, with most attacks taking place in Majorca and Crete.
Additionally in 2012 Embassy figures showed that in Greece alone, 26 British holiday makers were raped.
The research was conducted on English and German tourists because they are the most frequent visitors to southern Europe.
Recently in the headlines we heard about a British woman who was raped and two holiday representatives sexually assaulted on the Greek island of Rhodes. An official at the British Embassy in Athens said that the incidents, believed to be the "first of the season", took place on Saturday 22nd June in the main resort of Faliraki. It is said that a 27 year old woman was raped in the resort. The two British holiday representatives, also based in Rhodes, were badly beaten in a separate attempted rape, also in Faliraki. Residents in the area have expressed their concerns as the attacks have come so early in the season.
In 2012, a British inquest heard how a 25 year old holidaymaker from Cheshire was abducted by two men from Eastern Europe in Rhodes and strangled, and then the two men attempted to rape her. The two men were convicted for the attack. Some residents in Rhodes have scrutinised the tour operators who are reluctant to give too many dos and don’ts to young holiday makers.
Researchers have voiced their concern of the rise of drink and drug misuse and increased sexual activity amid young people in resorts that focus on nightlife. Even though this news is in the headlines the issue of sexual attacks including rape still lacks proper recognition with the younger generation.
ITV1 recently screened a series called Club Reps which centered on the alcohol-fuelled antics of Britons visiting 18 – 30s resorts, making it clear that alcohol fuelled holidays show young people leaving their inhibitions at home wanting to make their 'girls or lads' holiday the best yet, however, these actions are placing young adults in a very vulnerable position. Another example of this is the recent programme sun, sex and suspicious parents, which shows parents how their children enjoy their holiday.
By Tara Lever