Success! This Upskirting Victim Got the Practice Banned

After 18 months of “exhausting, emotional, and life-changing work,”, upskirting victim Gina Martin has succeeded in getting the practice banned in the United Kingdom and Wales.

The new law was passed by Parliament on January 15 and is now awaiting the formality of Royal Assent. Under this legislation, anyone who films or photographs up someone’s clothing without their consent will face up to two years in prison. More serious offenders will also be added to the sex offender registry.

“I am over the moon,” tweeted Martin after the victory. “We have changed the law!! I always thought politics was impenetrable, but with the right help and the willpower you can do it. We did it. We made upskirting an offence. I AM EXHAUSTED AND SO SO HAPPY!”

She also called the decision, “politics and society at its best.”

Last year, Martin—now 26—and her sister were waiting to watch The Killers perform at the British Summer Time music festival in London, when a man reached under her skirt and took photos of her crotch.

She had briefly talked to the man and his friend, but then they began making her uncomfortable. Martin saw the man looking her up and down, joking with his friend about her. At one point he rubbed up against her, and that’s when she thinks he took the photos.

At the time, Martin didn’t realize what had happened, but then from the corner of her eye she saw the picture on the guy’s phone.

Although the photo was small, Martin knew immediately that it was her. She grabbed the phone from the man and after shouting for help, was able to run through the crowd to the security staff, who immediately assessed the situation and formed a protective circle around Martin.

The police were called and, although sympathetic and understanding, essentially told Martin there wasn’t much they could do. They forced the guy to delete the photo, but nothing he had done was technically illegal.

Illegal in Scotland since 2010, upskirting was not a specific offense in the UK at the time that the men violated Martin. Neither of the laws somewhat related to the case, voyeurism and outraging public decency, actually applied.

Martin would not accept that answer.

Martin started a Care2 petition directed at the UK government demanding they make upskirting illegal. The petition received over 111,000 signatures. MP Wera Hobhouse aided Martin’s plight, introducing the upskirting ban as a private member’s bill.

At this point, the fight hit a roadblock when Conservative MP Sir Christopher Chope objected to the bill on “principle” because he does not agree with private members’ bills being brought before Parliament on a Friday. Protesters made their position very clear by hanging underwear outside his office door. He later admitted he did not know what upskirting was at the time.

The bill made it back before Parliament in July, even securing Prime Minister Theresa May’s support.

If you want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling, you too can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. Youll find Care2′s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.

Related at Care2

Photo Credit: Getty Images

81 comments

Helen C
Helen C4 days ago

Shame we even have to deal with these morons.

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Louise A
Louise A5 days ago

Thank you

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Emma L
Emma L7 days ago

good news

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Lindsay Kemp
Lindsay Kemp19 days ago

Excellent!! How anyone could have thought upskirting was ok is beyond me! Disgusting behaviour!! Many thanks for sharing.

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Olivia M
Past Member 19 days ago

thanks for this

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Paula A
Paula A21 days ago

Good

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Chad Anderson
Chad A23 days ago

Thank you.

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berny p
berny p24 days ago

Great but...what about scotland?

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Maria P
Maria P24 days ago

Thank you

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Ciaron Drain
Ciaron Drain24 days ago

Well it is not sexist as it now protects men in kilts and transvestites too, I had some jackass asking why I was not wearing a kilt for Burns night and I only wish I was channelling Muireadhach Albanach Ó Dálaigh instead of Burns. Actually it was a crime before hand it is just that it was so vaguely worded that the police were confused by it.

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