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Finland to ban sending unsolicited penis images

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The justice ministry in Finland spokesman said yesterday that the officials will propose to update sexual offences law. The law is to make sending unsolicited explicit photographs a crime. Anyone who commits the crime will be punished with up to a six-month jail sentence. The seriousness of the offence would decide on the punishment type which it would range from a fine to prison sentences.

A wide-ranging redrafting of Finnish sexual offences law

In one statement, the draft legislation would further define sexual harassment to include verbal harassment, through images or texts, taking photos of another or oneself.

Besides, the proposal of redrafting the Finnish sexual offences legislation would change the legal definition. It is to change rape to sex without consent rather than its current classification as physical violence or threat of violence.

For now, Finnish law only considers touching as sexual harassment. However, sending explicit images are under defamation laws, which do not consider as a sexual act.

Senior legislative advisor Sam Kiriakos from justice ministry told AFP that the officials would submit the proposal next year.

Photo source: Shutterstock

Photo source: Shutterstock

How common is “cyber-flashing” online?

Research has revealed that sexual harassment is widespread online which involves sending of non-consensual sexual images. It is also known as “cyber-flashing”.

A children’s rights charity Plan International conducted a study this year to survey on young women. The survey results showed that 51 per cent of 14,000 girls experienced sexual harassment online.

The conducted research also revealed some 35 per cent had received sexual images. The 35 per cent were girls ranging from aged 15 to 25 years.

Kiriakos said, “The questionnaires in the research show that sexual harassment is quite common.” “Victims who encounter the behaviour are often female and it is very relevant to figure a way out to deal the problems with the law.”

Following that, he added that the offences which conducted virtually on the web might be challenging to investigate.

Young women are the most common victims online.

Young women are the most common victims online.

Territories that have outlawed the behaviour

Some territories have in fact outlawed online sexual harassment. In 2010, Scotland passed the law to ban behaviour. Meanwhile, Texas in the US introduced a fine of $500 for sending unsolicited sexual images.

However, many countries do not progress much to criminalize online flashing, which can prove difficult to enforce.

 

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