UK Recommends Making Misogyny A Hate Crime And ‘Upskirting’ Illegal

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Misogyny should become a hate crime and taking photos up women’s skirts be made illegal, a major report into the way the legal system protects women has recommended.

The report, which is the conclusion of the Fawcett Society’s sex discrimination law review (SDLR) panel, chaired by retired high court justice Dame Laura Cox and made up of legal experts and representatives from trade unions and campaign groups, has found that the legal system was failing women and needed fundamental reform.

It has made a series of recommendations, including strengthening the law on sexual harassment at work so that women are protected not just from other employees but from third parties such as customers, service users or contractors.

The report also suggests making any breach of a domestic abuse order a criminal offence, reviewing the law on the admissibility of previous sexual history evidence in rape cases, and strengthening the definition of revenge porn.

The panel have called for the act of taking surreptitious pictures up skirts or down tops to be made a criminal offence across the UK, as it already is in Scotland.

In September, the justice secretary, David Lidington, told MPs he was considering this following a campaign by Gina Martin, who alleges that a man took a photo up her skirt at a music festival. Police were unable to take the case further.

At the time, Lidington said he had taken Martin’s campaign “very seriously” and consulted with police and crime commissioners. He said: “I have asked for detailed advice on this. Before proceeding to a commitment to new legislation, I want to be absolutely certain that this would be the right course to take.”

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