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Calls for 'upskirting' to be made an offence in Ireland, and we want to hear from you

Have you experienced it?

CW: This article contains references to upskirting.

As of this week, the act of ‘upskirting’ became a criminal offence in England and Wales.

shutterstock_793864492 Source: Shutterstock/Volodymyr Tverdokhlib

Following an 18-month campaign, anyone found guilty of the act will face two years imprisonment and inclusion on the sex offenders’ register.

According to the legislation, the crime is defined as:

… a highly intrusive practice, which typically involves someone taking a picture under another person’s clothing without their knowledge, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks (with or without underwear).

“The new law will capture instances where the purpose of the behaviour is to obtain sexual gratification, or to cause humiliation, distress or alarm,” reads a statement on the gov.uk website.

Anyone, and any gender, can be a victim and this behaviour is completely unacceptable.

Promoting the change in law earlier this week, the Ministry of Justice uploaded a video featuring Laura Whitmore, Holly Willoughby and Dermot O’Leary to Twitter.

No one has the right to take pictures under your clothes, without your consent.

Wherever you are, at a festival, in a club, at work, on the go, out with friends; upskirting is illegal, and you can report it to us.

Today, the CEO of the Rape Crisis Centre, Noeline Blackwell, has called for upskirting to be made an offence in Ireland.

Speaking on Newstalk, Noeline asserted that legislation needs to reflect changing technology, so as to prevent against the act and protect potential victims.

shutterstock_530481550 Source: Shutterstock/Burdun Iliya

“As it stands right now, this remains wrong and harmful but really difficult for the police to find a way to prosecute it or to hold anyone to account,” she explained.

A message has to be sent out by society that it’s not tolerated. You do that through legislation.

We want to hear from you; have you or someone you know ever been a victim of upskirting?

Poll Results:

No, not to my knowledge. (958)
Yes (180)
I was certain it happened, but I couldn't prove it. (99)

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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