Victory
As women who take public transportation in Massachusetts, we were appalled to learn that upskirting -- the practice of taking pictures up women's skirts and dresses without their consent -- is legal because there is no law specifically preventing it. We're calling on the Massachusetts legislature to immediately pass a law that explicitly states upskirting is a punishable crime.   Upskirt photos are a gross violation of privacy but the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that, as state law currently stands, women wearing skirts in public are not protected from this violation and people who take the photos cannot be punished.    This decision came about in March 2014, when our state's highest court ruled on the case of a man who secretly snapped photographs up women's skirts and dresses on public transit in 2010. The court argued that because of the way Massachusetts' Peeping Tom law is written, the man in question did not break the law, because women do not have a reasonable assumption to privacy on public transit. The court itself suggested in the ruling that the law be rewritten to remove this loophole.    We are calling for the Massachusetts legislature to rewrite the current law as quickly as possible. Other states including New York and Florida have explicit laws criminalizing public upskirting; Massachusetts needs to correct this oversight quickly.

Please sign this petition to show that you support making surreptitious upskirt photos illegal throughout Massachusetts, whether or not they are taken in public places.  

 

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This petition was launched by Rebecca Hains, associate professor at Salem State University, and Lori Day, a psychologist and educational consultant. Hains and Day are members of the Brave Girls Alliance, a global think tank and consulting group of girl empowerment experts who advocate for healthier media and products for girls.
Letter to
The State Of Massachusetts
State Senator Bruce Tarr
State Representative Bradley Jones
and 4 others
State Representative Robert DeLeo
Majority Leader, Massachusetts State Senate Stanley C. Rosenberg
President of the Mass. State Senate Therese Murray
Majority Leader, Massachusetts State House of Representatives Ronald Mariano
Make upskirt photos illegal!

Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that upskirt photographs are legal. This makes no sense. We are calling for the Massachusetts legislature to rewrite the current law as quickly as possible. Other states, including New York and Florida, have explicit laws criminalizing public upskirting. Massachusetts must join suit.

Upskirt photos are photographs taken from beneath a woman's skirt to capture an image of her crotch area and underwear without her consent. They are a gross violation of privacy--but the court has decided that, as state law currently stands, women wearing skirts in public do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

This decision came about in March 2014, when the state's highest court ruled on the case of a man who secretly snapped photographs up women's skirts and dresses on public transit in 2010. The court argued that because of the way the law (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272. sec. 105: Photographing, videotaping, or electronically surveilling partially nude or nude person; exceptions; punishment) is written, the man in question did not break the law, because women do not have a reasonable assumption to privacy on public transit.

I am asking you as my Massachusetts state legislator to take action as quickly as possible to end this violation of women.

Thank you,