Is it illegal to video someone naked without their consent? YES.

by Emily Hunt

Is it illegal to video someone naked without their consent? YES.

by Emily Hunt
Emily Hunt
Case Owner
Emily wears many hats: strategy consultant, single mother, someone negotiating life after rape, and more. But right now? She's making sure that no one else is videoed naked without their permission.
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Emily Hunt
Case Owner
Emily wears many hats: strategy consultant, single mother, someone negotiating life after rape, and more. But right now? She's making sure that no one else is videoed naked without their permission.
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Latest: June 28, 2019

Next stop: Court.

The CPS had until today to reply to my legal team's "Letter before Action." In an ideal world, that reply would have included an acknowledgment that they got the legalities wrong and ...

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My attacker took a 1 minute and 2 second long video of me naked and unconscious on a hotel bed without my knowledge and most certainly without my permission. He told the police that he took it to masturbate to later. In his statement to the police, he said that he knew that he did not have my permission to take the video. He told the police that he knew that I would be upset if she woke up and found him videoing me. The facts are not in dispute.

What's in dispute is whether or not it's against the law under the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 to video someone naked without their consent if you are in a private / personal / intimate setting with that person. 

Currently the CPS believes that if someone is allowed to see you naked, they can video you. Actually, no, that's wrong. They believe that if you cannot prove that you did not give consent for someone to see you naked, that they can video you.

That's your partner who videos you without your consent, the heartbreaker who videos you without your knowledge the night before breaking up with you, that one night stand from last year, (even your friend's abusive partner can video them without their consent or knowledge)... anyone who you allow to see you naked can - under the CPS's current reading of the law - take a video of you naked for their own personal sexual purposes. And you have no recourse.

I am bringing a judicial review against the Crown Prosecution Service on Voyeurism, to settle once and for all whether or not it is legal for someone to video you naked without your consent for personal sexual purposes if they've been allowed to see you naked.

The government thinks that what happened to me is illegal. My lawyers think that what happened to me is illegal. And indeed, so do 76% of people in the UK (survey done by Opinium). Unless we take the CPS to court, this will continue. And it needs to not continue.

I frankly do not believe that I live in the sort of country that allows such an insane invasion of privacy. I do not believe that our laws as written (even if they were written back in 2003!) don't see a difference between being seen and being videoed.

To bring a Judicial Review, I need to prove that I can offer a reasonable sum of money towards the government’s legal costs if I lose. We need to raise £5k as quickly as possible. But realistically, we need a lot more than that to take the case all the way to trial. Your help is very, very appreciated. Should I win and the fund isn't needed to cover the government's costs, the money will go to the CWJ (the amazing people behind the judicial review that kept Black Cab Rapist John Worboys in jail, and also the lovely people who are currently helping me out). 

My case would set a precedent and so change the law going forward. This will mean that anyone in my position would be able to get justice when their privacy is violated in the most intimate way without consent

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Update 2

Emily Hunt

June 28, 2019

Next stop: Court.

The CPS had until today to reply to my legal team's "Letter before Action." In an ideal world, that reply would have included an acknowledgment that they got the legalities wrong and would now go forward with charging my attacker.

Unfortunately, that's not what happened.

We received their letter this morning and it is amazing. First off, and this is genuinely amazing, they got the date I was attacked wrong. They then went on to reference the wrong toxicology report before going into lots of detail about the rape (which this isn't about) before finally getting to their point:

According to the CPS's reading of the law - even after being provided with ample legal precedent and quotes on the government's position - they continue to insist that if someone is allowed to see you naked sleeping (or you cannot prove that they did not have your permission to see you naked while sleeping), that they are allowed to video you naked. Because, according to the CPS, seeing is the same as videoing.

They also included a nice line in bold about how if I bring this judicial review and fail, that they will go after me for full costs. So please keep spreading the word, because the CPS clearly wants to use the financial risk to me to make sure that I don't go forward and they seem to want all of us continue to have no recourse should our privacy be invaded like this. 

Please help.

Update 1

Emily Hunt

June 14, 2019

And so it begins!

This afternoon, my lawyers set a formal letter to the Crown Prosecution Service laying out the legal argument and evidence on how they believe that the CPS made the wrong decision in deciding to not prosecute my attacker for voyeurism.

This is the required first step to bringing a judicial review and it feels absolutely amazing to know that we have begun.

But I still need your help because to go forward, I have to prove that I can offer a reasonable sum of money towards the government’s legal costs if I lose. We need to raise £5k as quickly as possible in order to do this. (But realistically, we need a lot more than that to take the case all the way to trial).

There should be more updates from me next week, but I wanted to let you know that every single donation to this page so far has helped this amazing day happen for me. Thank you, thank you so much. You will never be able to understand how much this means to me.

All the best,

Emily

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