‘Up-skirting’ to be made a criminal offence

In September 2017 we reported on the issue of ‘up-skirting’ – the practice of taking a picture up the skirt or dress of a woman or girl in public, sometimes as part of a programme of harassment by the person taking the picture,  often occurring without the victim ever being aware. The photos are then often circulated to others invading the privacy of, distressing and humiliating whomever is in the picture.  At the time it was noted that this was an example of where the law had not caught up with the misuse of technology.  However, today the government has indicated that it will support a private members bill – the Voyeurism (Offences) Bill 2018 – to make the practice a criminal offence in England and Wales.  The Bill will have its second reading in the House of Commons on 15 June 2018 and it is understood to have cross party support.   Continue reading

Forced Marriage: Unwilling Victims

With the school summer holidays looming the NSPCC has warned that the potential for a further type of child abuse to be perpetrated arises, the forced marriage of children and young people.   Continue reading

Learning from Tragedy

The conviction in 2000 of Harold Shipman of the murder of 15 of his patients signalled a watershed in  the relationship the public had with medical and other healthcare professionals who are there to care for them. Continue reading

Healthcare providers, reviews and inquiries

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has recently published an update report in connection with the seminars held in September 2017 to consider current approaches to the prevention of child sexual abuse in healthcare services. Although there is not a specific investigation focused upon sexual abuse of children within the healthcare sector, there have been a number of high profile cases involving medical and care professionals which might suggest that the healthcare sector may represent as much of a risk as any other sector involved in the care of children. Of course it is not just children who are at risk and although they are the focus of IICSA, other inquiries and reviews are also looking at abusive behaviour towards adults, most currently the Independent Inquiry into the issues raised by Paterson (the surgeon convicted of assaults arising from unnecessary breast tissue surgeries). Continue reading

Australian Redress Scheme about to get underway – 1st July, 2018

On the 10th May, 2018 the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme) legislation was introduced to the Parliament for Australia. This legislation replaces the Commonwealth legislation previously introduced and this allow for States and territories that join the Scheme to participate under law. Continue reading

Child Abuse, the Response of Senior Office Holders and the Roman Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Church remains involved globally in allegations of non-recent child abuse with resignations, criminal trials and convictions occurring in Australia, Chile and France in recent months. The allegations involve ever more senior members of the Church in their respective countries.

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Accountability & Reparations – Preliminary Hearing

A preliminary hearing was recently held to provide an update on the work of the Accountability & Reparations Investigation and to discuss the necessary preparations for the November/December hearing.  Continue reading