A video uploaded to TikTok showing a man catcalling a woman cycling on a main road in Malta has been taken down, following calls to report the individual.
The TikTok video was doing the rounds of social media, garnering over 24,000 views. It depicted the woman from behind and had been shared on TikTok without her consent.
The caption of the video reads “Hey summer”, as the woman is dressed weather-appropriate while exercising. With no comments on the original video, some took to Instagram to criticise the TikTok user that had shared the footage, who has nearly 3,000 followers.
With catcalling being a prevalent issue in Malta, the incident was a reminder of something girls and women face on a daily basis – especially in summer.
Malta has criminalised cat calling under reforms to its sexual abuse laws two years ago, which included non-physical sexual abuse. Still, just 25 people have been found guilty of catcalling and harassing online comments.
Just two days after that report, a young Maltese girl took to TikTok to recount her catcalling incident and broke down crying.
A prevailing issue with charging people for catcalling is the lack of evidence. While people are being reduced to a sexual object in the streets, the offender almost always walks free as there is merely the victim’s testimony as proof.
However, in this case, the offender proudly uploaded his crime online, to be seen by thousands of people.
Naturally, people were shocked. While the TikTok video itself didn’t have any comments, some women took to Instagram to share their worries.
One Instagram user wrote: “Incredible. We cannot even ride a bike harmlessly in summer without men losing their shit. Catcalling is an issue in itself, but recording it and putting her online? Seriously? I’m speechless.”
“The video has 24,000 views. The poor girl probably has no idea. Do better,” she continues. “If you know this girl please draw her attention.”
Another user wrote: “Ah yes, we can’t even ride a bike in peace without being filmed.”
The video has since been taken down.
Have you ever been catcalled in Malta?