As of today (12 February), the act of upskirting is illegal in the United Kingdom.
Upskirting is the act of taking a picture under another person’s clothing without their knowledge, with the intention of viewing their genitals or butt.
Anyone and any gender can be a victim, according to the new law .
Parliament passed the Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill – commonly known as the Upskirting Bill – on 21 June last year.
It came about after Gina Martin was at a music festival when two guys tried to take photos up her skirt of her crotch without her consent.
When she took it to the police, they ended up dropping the case. Martin was surprised to find out upskirting wasn’t a sexual offence in England and Wales, but Scotland has had it for almost 10 years.
She then started an 18-month-long campaign to introduce a law against the practise and today it comes into effect.
Upskirting: What is the damage?
The act of taking a photo of someone else’s crotch without their consent can have a devastating effect on the victim.
It can cause distress and humiliation. The new law will give confidence to people who may experience it and want to report it.
If you experience the horrendous practise, you can get in contact with the local police, as well as a local charity for support.
Victims are entitled to automatic protection, including media anonymity. This means the media cannot identify the names, addresses or any identifying information about people who experience upskirting.
Perpetrators may face up to two years in prison for the crime. Serious offenders may also be on the sex offenders register.
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