A new TikTok trend sees everyone talking about ’97 percent’, but what does it mean?

As you’ve been scrolling through TikTok, you’ve probably seen a lot of videos related to ‘97%’. Social media users are making videos about being ‘part of the 97%’ and the trend is taking over social media.

The whole trend is actually spreading a very important message, and it’s a reaction from the murder of a woman called Sarah Everard in the UK.

If you’re a little confused, here’s what the ‘97%’ trend is all about…

Photo Illustration by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

What is the ’97 Percent’ TikTok trend?

The hashtag #97percent has had a huge 8.2 million views over the past few weeks, and it’s one of the app’s biggest trends right now, but what does it mean?

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When people make videos about being ‘part of the 97%’, they are referring to a sexual harassment statistic.

An investigation by UN Women UK released on March 10th 2021 found that 97% of women aged 18-24 have been sexually harassed, meaning that most of the UK female population has experienced some form of sexual harassment in a public space.

The study also found that a further 96% of women did not report the harassment because they thought it would not change anything.

The ’97 percent’ TikTok trend sees social media users talking about their experiences of being part of that 97% and raising awareness of the harassment that women face on a daily basis.

It’s a reaction to the murder of Sarah Everard

The ‘97%’ TikTok trend is a reaction to the murder of a UK woman called Sarah Everard.

On March 3rd, 33-year-old Sarah Everard vanished after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, London, to walk home. However, she never made it back to her home in Brixton, a 50-minute walk away.

A week later, her body was found in a woodland area in Kent, and Met police officer Wayne Couzens is due to go on trial in October after being charged with her kidnap and murder.

Sarah’s death has sparked a social media movement as other women share their experiences of feeling unsafe or receiving harassment whilst alone.

The 97 percent trend on TikTok is part of this movement, seeing women voicing their safety fears online in an attempt to ensure that everyone understands just how dangerous the streets can be for women.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

‘Not all men’ gets backlash

The ‘97%’ trend also sees women expressing backlash towards the phrase ‘not all men’.

Following Sarah Everard’s death, a number of men have expressed their support for women on social media, asking what they can do to make women feel safer. However, this isn’t the case for everyone.

Some men have been spreading the hashtag #NotAllMen to try and explain that it’s not all men who make women feel unsafe or assault them and is only a minority.

However, this view has been criticised for taking the limelight away from women. Instead of being defensive, women have argued that men need to be supportive and help tackle the problem.

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