What is voyeurism?

Voyeurism is the act of spying on people engaged in intimate acts, such as undressing, sexual activity or other actions of a private nature.

There is usually a sexual interest attached to the spying. In some cases of voyeurism, photos or videos are made of the person or people being spied on.

The main characteristics of voyeurism are that the viewing is illicit and the victim is unaware.

Examples of voyeurism

Voyeurism is a relatively new criminal offence, having been created by the Sexual Offences Act 2003. It is classed as a paraphilia (that is, a condition characterised by abnormal sexual desires, typically involving extreme or dangerous activities). Voyeurs are categorised as sexual addicts.

There are a number of behaviours that fall under the voyeurism:

  • Watching people through windows or gaps in the walls or doors.
  • ‘Upskirting’, where pictures or footage of women’s bodies are taken by hidden cameras purposely position under skirts, normally on public transport.
  • Partaking on websites that allow you to watch people engage in intimate activity without their knowledge or consent.
  • Placing hidden cameras in places (normally toilets or locker rooms) where people can be filmed and viewed remotely.

Voyeurism and the law

Voyeurism cases can face a maximum of two years imprisonment. There is also a possibility, depending on the details of the crime, that the convicted has sign on as a registered sex offender, and a restriction of possessing certain types of equipment or going to certain locations as part of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

However, there is still some argument as to what constitutes a private act. Considering that voyeurism is a relatively ‘new crime’, these types of cases usually require meticulous consideration of all the evidence on both sides before a verdict can be recorded.

Treatment for voyeurism

There is a lot of evidence to show that remedial action for voyeuristic tendencies is very successful. Psychotherapy, support groups and medication have all proven effective for individuals who have been convicted or referred by a spouse, friend or family member.

It’s vital that anyone accused of voyeuristic behaviour should consult a lawyer specialising in this field straightaway. Contact us here for advice today.

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