LRC's Report on Voyeurism and Non-consensual Upskirt Photography patches current legal loopholes though lacks protection for victims of non-consensual distribution of intimate images

HONG KONG, 3rd May 2019 – The Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (the Association, or ACSVAW) has been dedicating efforts in advocacy for further and better protection for survivors of sexual violence. The Association welcomes the recent release of Report on Voyeurism and Non-consensual Upskirt Photography by the Law Reform Commission (LRC) on the 30th April 2019. The Association would anticipate the proposed legal reform can be implemented as soon as possible to patch the current legal loopholes.

The Association and other concern groups are also aware of some rooms of improvement in the latest legal reform proposal. These areas include:

  1. The LRC's proposal only covers the unauthorised photography of the lower part of one's body. The equally common 'downblouse' photography has not been specifically illegalised in this case, the Association suggests the expansion of legislation to cover unauthorised photography of both 'upskirting' and 'downblousing'. The Association expects the Department of Justice to follow up on the LRC's report and introduce the bill into legislation promptly.

  2. Besides 'upskirting', the Association has also been made aware of the rampancy of various forms of image-based sexual abuse, these behaviours include but are not limited to:

    • The non-consensual distribution of intimate image(s), e.g. uploading to the internet, and/or share to the third party.

    • The use of intimate image(s) to blackmail, threaten, or control for sex.

    • The non-consensual selling or printing of intimate image(s).

RainLily Sexual Violence Crisis Centre has received 23 cases of image-based sexual abuse from June 2018 to April 2019. These cases involve the non-consensual recording of sexual activities, sexual extortion, and non-consensual distribution of intimate images. In the 23 cases, 70% of the victims reported their cases to police, these cases are all currently in the stage of initial charges. The Association believes the LRC's proposal can increase protection for victims of some of these kinds of image-based sexual abuse. However, the report has not been able to address the situation non-consensual distribution of intimate images or sexual extortion.

From Left:  Chairperson, The Association for the Advancement of Feminism (Mabel Au)  Representative, Women’s Coalition on Equal Opportunities (Stephanie So)  Executive Director, Action for REACH OUT (Candy Yim)  Executive Director, Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (Linda Wong)  Advocacy Officer, Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (Jacey Kan)  Body Autonomy Advocate (Emilia Wong)

From Left:

Chairperson, The Association for the Advancement of Feminism (Mabel Au)

Representative, Women’s Coalition on Equal Opportunities (Stephanie So)

Executive Director, Action for REACH OUT (Candy Yim)

Executive Director, Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (Linda Wong)

Advocacy Officer, Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (Jacey Kan)

Body Autonomy Advocate (Emilia Wong)