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Taking pics of breastfeeding mothers without consent to be made illegal in England, Wales

In England and Wales, photographing breastfeeding women in public without their agreement will be made illegal. According to sources, those who try to photograph nursing mothers without their consent may face upto 2 year’s imprisonment under a proposal presented to parliament on Tuesday. The law will be part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill, which the Ministry of Justice has included as an amendment.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said it would help women who are harassed, whether for self-gratification or harassment. ‘No new mum should be harassed in this way. We are committed to doing everything we can to protect women, make them feel safer, and give them greater confidence in the justice system’, the Justice Secretary said.

Last April, Manchester-based designer Julia Cooper launched a campaign to make photographing breastfeeding moms in public illegal. ‘I sat down to breastfeed my daughter and I noticed a man on another bench staring at us. I stared back to let him know that I had clocked his gaze, but undeterred he got out his digital camera, attached a zoom lens and started photographing us’, Cooper said.

Cooper called her local Labour MP Jeff Smith and his colleague Stella Creasy after feeling violated by the encounter. Creasy had herself been photographed while nursing her kid on a train without her permission. The two took their cause to the House of Commons, where they demanded that breastfeeding voyeurism be outlawed.

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As per reports, the Ministry of Justice said that taking non-consensual images or video recordings of nursing mothers will be declared a particular breastfeeding voyeurism crime in England and Wales, punishable by up to two years in jail and encompassing situations where the intention is to get sexual satisfaction or to cause embarrassment, distress, or panic.


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