Responding to the announcement today (15 June) that the Government will back a Bill to make ‘upskirting’ a criminal offence, Professor Clare McGlynn of Durham University, expert on the law on sexual offences, and the End Violence Against Women Coalition, welcomed the measure but said there was more to be done.
Professor Clare McGlynn said:
“The criminalisation of ‘upskirting’ announced today is a welcome first step towards a more comprehensive law protecting victims of all forms of image-based sexual abuse, which also includes so-called ‘revenge porn’. We hope to work with the government to strengthen what is proposed in order to provide a truly effective deterrent, looking at intent, anonymity for all victims, and at threats. We also need to ensure there are sustainable and effective support services for all victims.”
End Violence Against Women Coalition Co-Director Sarah Green said:
“We also implore the Government – on a day when they make an announcement like this and say that protecting victims of sexual offences is a priority – to speak up on the horrific crisis around disclosure of evidence in rape cases, and the sluggish rape conviction rates when reporting is going through the roof. Our society’s whole commitment to providing justice and support for women and men who’ve suffered sexual violence needs a root and branch review. Right now there is postcode lottery access to counselling and to a good police and courts response. This should be a Government priority when more survivors than ever are coming forward.”