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

97 comments

Caitlin L
Caitlin Lyesterday

TY

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Peggy B
Peggy Byesterday

Saddos.

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Olivia H
Olivia H2 days ago

Thanks

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn4 days ago

Many thanks to you !

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Isabel A
Isabel A10 days ago

Thank you

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Gabriel C
Gino C19 days ago

tyfs

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Maria P
Mia Pabout a month ago

thanks

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William T
Vincent Tabout a month ago

thank you for posting

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Peter B
Kevin B2 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Ellie L
Past Member 2 months ago

good

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