Police officials along with public transport authorities in Beijing issued a set of guidelines on Monday to inform women on how they could protect themselves from being victimized.
The guidelines issued by the traffic department of the city’s Public Security Bureau, cited by the China Daily, instruct women to avoid mini-skirts and hot pants, and to shield themselves with bags, magazines and newspapers.
While using public transport, women have also been advised to sit or stand in lower areas of the vehicle to avoid being photographed, and have been instructed to call police officials in the event of a harassment attempt.
The maximum penalty for sexual harassment will be a 15-day detention, Xing Wei, a police officer with the department, told the China Daily.
"It is hard for us to collect evidence in sexual harassment cases despite cameras on buses and subways," Xing said. "It is also difficult to train public transportation workers to assist women in harassment prevention and response.”
Wang Jiansheng, director of the security department with Fourth Transport Company under Beijing Public Transport Holdings Ltd, said conductors will be asked to remind women passengers to protect themselves by following these guidelines.
"When a woman informs the company that she has been sexually harassed, we'll report to the police and assist them in the investigation," Wang told China Daily.
A 2012 survey launched by a social investigation center affiliated to China Youth Daily showed that more than 13 percent of women were sexually assaulted while riding the subway.
Of the 9,617 people who took the poll, more than half, or 59 percent, pointed out scantily-clad women as the main reason for the assaults, China Daily reported.