Jersey sexual offences law to provide better protection for islanders

The new law clarifies that anyone can be affected by sexual offences regardless of their gender. Credit: PA Images

Upskirting and female genital mutilation are being outlawed in Jersey from today as part of greater protections from sexual offences.

The updated Sexual Offences Law has taken two years of work, with input from organisations including the Women's Refuge, Brooke and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

The law defines a number of sexual offences including upskirting, where an unauthorised photograph is taken under a person's skirt, and female genital mutilation. The definitions of these terms are also set to make prosecution easier and more efficient.

The legislation clarifies that anyone can be affected or commit a sexual offence, regardless of a person's gender. It defines that consent cannot be given if a person is asleep, unconscious or incapable of consenting due to alcohol or other substances. Consent can also be taken back at any time, before or during sexual contact.

The new law also states that a victim's sexual history can only be used as evidence if the court has outlined which specific details, preventing an attacker from stating they have had previous sexual relations with someone as a defence.