Upskirting Will Become a Crime in England and Wales

Illustration for article titled Upskirting Will Become a Crime in England and Wales
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After fighting to make upskirting a crime after having her crotch photographed randomly at a music festival, a woman has successfully campaigned to make the act illegal in England and Wales.


The BBC reports that the new legislation, which was approved in the House of Lords and needs to be approved by the Royal Assent, could sentence creeps who upskirt women up to two years in jail.

Gina Martin was upskirted at a London music festival and was surprised to find the act was totally legal. “I felt this was wrong and I was astounded to learn that upskirting wasn’t a sexual offense,” she told the BBC. She wrote a viral post about her experience which ultimately caught the eye of politician Wera Hobhouse who spearheaded a bill to make it an offense. Before this law, victims of upskirting could only pursue charges in “outraging public decency or as a crime of voyeurism.”

In America, upskirting is, unsurprisingly, largely legal. Laws exist in a handful of states like Texas, New Jersey, and New York, but quite a few lawmakers have ruled that this type of photography is totally fine. “He didn’t do anything wrong,” an Oregon judge ruled in 2015 after a 61-year-old man took photos up the skirt of a 13-year-old girl. “Such expectation of privacy is not reasonable,” a Washington, D.C. judge ruled in 2014 after police found many photos of unsuspecting women on a man’s camera. In 2016, a Georgia judge simply said there were no laws that could criminalize a grocery store clerk’s upskirt videos taken of a shopper.

Keeping creeps from taking photos up a woman’s skirt should be a simple legal task! Get with it, America.

Hazel Cills is the Pop Culture Reporter at Jezebel. Her writing has been published by outlets including The Los Angeles Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, ELLE, and more.



I have avoided wearing skirts since I was in first grade and heard the boys in my school telling everyone how they would pretend to drop change on the ground to look up girls’ skirts. The fact that now it can be done as a picture, legally, is disgusting. I agree, Hazel, the U.S. needs to get its shit together.

I have a feeling making this sort of thing a crime is going to be a long time coming, though.

Good on Ms. Martin for fighting to make this violation a crime.