What is Cyberflashing? This is where someone sends a sexual image, usually a penis, to someone without their consent. It’s the online version of physical flashing in the street. It’s a growing problem, particularly with Bluetooth and Airdrop making it easy and anonymous to send images to people close by without their consent.
Is Cyberflashing a criminal offence? It could be, but the law is not clear. There is a need for the law to be reformed so that this practice is clearly a criminal offence.
Urgent reform of the law needed: There are growing calls for reform of this area as women decide they’ve had enough and are no longer willing to put up with this behaviour. I’ve been pleased to be able to contribute to these debates, recommending changes to the law and encouraging us to take cyberflashing seriously. My contributions and suggestions included in a number of recent reports, including: ‘Gross and shocking’: Women call for new laws to stop cyber-flashing’ and ‘The tip of the iceberg’: Cyber-flashing on trains ‘largely unreported’ despite huge rise in incidents’. For in-depth reporting on this issue, see Sophie Gallagher’s work in HuffPost including: ‘Flashing And Flashing Can Be Equally Harmful.
Read my comment in HuffPost on why we need comprehensive law reform challenging cyberflashing and other forms of online abuse and harassment: ‘Deepfake Porn and Cyberflashing Are Harming Women Right Now – They Need More Urgent Protection’. I argue that while it’s welcome the government is looking at comprehensive law reform on image-based abuse – for women being victimised right now, this is justice being delayed.