British women rejoice as upskirting law passes final hurdle

After an 18-month campaign by Gina Martin, the British parliament has agreed to make "upskirting" a criminal offence.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
British women rejoice as upskirting law passes final hurdle - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Taking a photo or filming inside another person’s clothes without consent will be illegal after a bill to ban the act passed its final legal hurdle in the House of Lords Upper Chamber.

Campaigner Gina Martin began pushing for the act to be criminalized after becoming a victim of upskirting herself at a festival and realizing the gap in the law.

Women across the country praised the passing of the new legislation, welcoming a policy that considers the impact of sexual offences that blur the lines between harassment and abuse.

Imagine taking a photo inside a woman’s skirt and she literally changes the law to prosecute you?

Details from the story:

  • A bill to ban upskirting, the act of taking a photograph or capturing footage inside somebody else's clothing or of their genitals without consent, passed its final legal hurdle and will become law under the Sexual Offences Act of 2003.
  • Perpetrators could be imprisoned for two years under the new law.
  • Gina Martin, who alongside her lawyer friend Ryan Whelan helped bring about the change to the law, was a victim of upskirting while at British Summertime Festival in Hyde Park, London in July 2017.
  • A man took a photo up her skirt, and after chasing him down and taking the issue to the police, they said they couldn't do anything about it.
  • Noticing this gap in the law, Martin has been campaigning for the new law for 18 months, a time which she said has been tumultuous. She has received abuse during the campaign, including after the bill was approved by the House of Lords.
  • Now both Parliament's lower and upper houses have agreed on the bill, it now waits for the final stage of Royal Assent when the Bill will become an Act of Parliament. A date has not yet been set.
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