A woman has fought hard to make upskirting a criminal offence. Gina Martin, a victim of the vile crime herself she launched an 18 month campaign to see it enshrined in law.
Here, she tells about her own terrifying experience.
It was a boiling day in Summer 2017 and I was at a festival with my sister, waiting to see The Killers.
There was a group of blokes behind us, who kept trying to chat us up. We told them we just wanted to watch the music, but they kept pestering us.
I felt someone jostle me, but, in the middle of a crowd of 60,000 people, I thought little of it. But when I glanced round, I saw the blokes all laughing at their phones.
On the screen, there was a picture of my crotch one of them had stuck his hand up my skirt, taken a photo, and sent it to his mates. It was utterly humiliating and completely violating.
I yelled at the top of my voice about what they’d done, and a woman nearby managed to snatch one of their phones and give it to me.
Immediately, I raced through the thick crowd, trying to make it to the security guards.
When the guards saw me running, with a huge man chasing me, they surrounded me and told the man to back off.
The police were called, but I was astonished when they told me that upskirting wasn’t a crime. Three days later, they closed the case.
Desperate that those awful men wouldn’t get away with it, I posted a picture to Facebook a selfie my sister and I took moments before the attack in which two of the blokes were visible, with a caption explaining what they’d done.
The picture was shared thousands of times and I was inundated with support until Facebook told me to take it down because it was ‘harassment’.
So I started an online petition to make upskirting illegal. I got 108,000 signatures and a law firm offered to help me, pro bono.
Eighteen months later, I watched the law being changed at the House Of Lords, tears streaming down my face.
People who take violating pictures up skirts can now be sent to prison for up to two years.
It didn’t sink in until I got to the pub with my family and had a glass of wine. I cried for hours.
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