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• Rachel Thompson illustrates how Gina Martin used her activism to successfully campaign against sexual assault, making 'upskirting' illegal.
• How can you support activists like Gina Martin by drawing awareness to social justice issues in your community?
• Learn more about activism and its role in women's philosophy.
Gina Martin is an activist, campaigner, author, and law-changer.
In the summer of 2017, Martin was at a music festival in London with her sister when she was upskirted by a man in the crowd.
The term upskirting refers to the violating act of taking photos or videos under a person's clothes without consent in an effort to capture their crotch area, underwear, and genitals. When Martin reported what happened to police, she was told there wasn't much they could do. What Martin later learned is that upskirting was not legally classed as a sexual offence under the law in England and Wales. So, Martin set about to change that.
In 2017, Martin launched a campaign called #StopSkirtingTheIssue, initially setting out to raise awareness of the prevalence of upskirting. After more than 110,000 people backed Martin's petition to make upskirting illegal, she took her campaign to the government to turn signatures into legislation. Working with lawyer Ryan Whelan, Martin secured cross-party support and meetings with senior lawmakers.
After two years of hard work and determination, Martin changed the law in England and Wales. Martin made upskirting illegal, and under the new legislation those convicted of the crime face up to two years in prison. In the year since the law change, four men have been jailed and 16 men have been convicted of the crime, according to figures from the Crown Prosecution Service. Before the change to the law, perpetrators of upskirting were charged with outraging public decency or a crime of voyeurism.
Read the full article about Gina Martin by Rachel Thompson at Mashable.