After seven months of Grazia campaigning to make cyberflashing a crime, it is being reported that the act will become illegal as part of the Sexual Offences Act and could carry a sentence of up to two years in prison.
Research from YouGov shows that four in 10 millennial women have been sent an unsolicited photo of a man’s genitals without consent. However, according to dating app Bumble, who carried out their own study with Research Without Barriers, this figure is much higher, with 48% of those aged 18 to 24 receiving an explicit or nude photo they didn’t ask for in the last year alone.
Grazia has been campaigning to make cyberflashing a crime alongside MP Maria Miller, actor Emily Atack and a whole host of incredible supporters online. While it was initially suggested that cyberflashing would be banned as part of the Online Harms Bill currently going through parliament, the government have decided to use the Sexual Offences Act over fears that the former bill will be furth delayed.
As part of the Sexual Offences Act, The Times reports that cyberflashing will become an illegal offence carrying a punishment similar to crimes like upskirting – meaning perpetrators could be put on the sex offenders register and sentenced to prison time of up to two years.
It's thanks to the incredible women who shared their stories with Grazia that this development is even possible. Should cyberflashing be made illegal for good, it's their bravery we will be commending.