Posts Tagged ‘harassment’

Ever wondered why more women don’t report upskirting to the police? Here’s one possible reason – some police simply do not take this form of harassment seriously. Indeed, some seem to think it’s funny.

Aoife O’Donoghue and Clare McGlynn


A couple of days ago, UK Cop Humour re-posted a piece from the Bexley Gazette containing images of upskirting. The photo is of two women in the process of being arrested by two police officers – taken presumably by a member of the public – and shows them in a humiliating and degrading position. Held down by police over the bonnet of a police car, with their skirts raised and underwear showing, they cannot adjust their clothing and must suffer the glare of the public on their bodies. The decision of UK Cop Humour to re-post this image is seriously troubling.


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IB imageSnapshots of law, gender and sexuality news from the past couple of weeks

House of Commons votes in favour of Same-Sex Marriage Bill 

Jesse Bachir

On the 5th February, the House of Commons voted in favour of passing the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill, with David Cameron’s support.  The Bill passed in the Commons with 400 votes for to 175 against. However, there are still some inequalities that will need to be dealt with; inequalities that are being carried over from same-sex civil partnerships.

When civil partnerships came into effect, there was no definition of sex between members of the same sex. Now, when the same-sex marriage bill is about to be passed, this problem has still not been addressed by the government. Currently, legally, sexual intercourse is defined as penile-vaginal penetration – which obviously only defines sexual intercourse in relation to opposite-sex sexual intercourse. Because same sex couples were unable to meet this definition, when civil partnerships came into effect, non-consummation was not grounds for dissolving the partnership. This same problem is being carried over into the same-sex marriage bill, as the government has not taken the time to redefine or rethink the definitions of sexual intercourse or consummation.


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Bhavna Bhagwan & Lou McGolpin

Legal Aid

As reported in our inaugural edition, the debate over Legal Aid reforms continues. The Justice Select Committee (“JSC”) has published its report on the proposed changes, in which it has urged ministers to reconsider plans to focus legal aid on family law cases, including those involving accusations of domestic violence and abuse. The JSC is concerned that such changes may create a “perverse incentive” for people to make false accusations. The need for considerable further refinement is stated in the report and the JSC has suggested that alternative savings can be made. The report has been made available online.


Hadley Freeman has published a powerful commentary following the conviction of Delroy Grant. During the Grant case, the British press made statements about the desirability of Grant’s victims, speculating that anyone wanting to have sex with these elderly people was a marvel in itself. The point is this: the belief that the victim must in some way be desirable peddles the blame that falls at the victim’s feet, even in cases such as this; and eschews the fact that this is not about sexual attraction but abuse of power. The press has done much to skew sentiment in rape trials and misconceived perceptions of the dynamics between Grant and his victims in this case serve to further inform the debate on rape law reform. If the crime itself is so poorly understood that vulnerable elderly victims can be pegged as somehow to blame, then more must be done to curtail this erroneous value system, or else what reform could possibly help the young single female’s chances of achieving justice? It would seem a hopeless case.

Reforms of the EHRC (more…)

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