Upskirting law change petition
A petition calling for upskirting to be made illegal in the North, which was set up by a young Derry woman, has attracted almost 40,000 signatures in less than a week.
Tegan Nesbitt, who has personal experience of upskirting, said she found it ‘alarming’ that the behaviour is not illegal in Northern Ireland, despite the fact that it has been a criminal offence in England and Wales since April 2019.
Upskirting refers to the act of taking a photograph underneath a person’s skirt without permission.
The Department for Justice indicated last year that legislation in relation to upskirting would be introduced in early 2021.
However, at this time it is still not punishable by a specific criminal offence.
Tegan said she was upskirted on a night out, just before the first lockdown was imposed last year.
“I didn’t realise how badly affected by the experience I was until now,” the 18-year-old revealed.
Tegan said she was spurred into action because she doesn’t want any other woman to experience something similar.
“As the Covid restrictions ease and young women start going out again, I want to raise awareness of how often this happens. I also don’t want them to have an experience like this.”
Further to launching the petition, Tegan has also approached a number of politicians, including the Justice Minister Naomi Long.
“If upskirting is illegal elsewhere, it should be illegal here,” Tegan said. “While I am not looking for any justice for what happened to me, I want any other woman who experiences this to be able to access justice.”
The petition is available at https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-make-upskirting-illegal-in-ni