Thursday, 17 December 2020
Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Report and Final Stages
I refer to the Solidarity-PBP amendment No. 10, which would insert the word "holds" after distributes. The point that we want to make here is that in order to step over the line in terms of the law, it should not simply be the case of distributing the image, but if one holds the image with the intent to cause harm, that should be on the wrong side of the law. A practical example would be if someone was involved in blackmail. As I read it, the legislation as currently framed states that one has transgressed the law if one distributes the image, whereas we are saying that if one threatens to distribute the image, for example, in the case of blackmail, then that puts a person on the wrong side of the law. I think that is a progressive amendment and it should be included.
I want to make a brief point on a comment earlier in the debate, when a Deputy referred to girls getting involved in frivolous activities. I do not think that type of point needs to be made in this debate. Women and girls are the victims of what is happening here and sideways swipes of that kind are not called for in this debate, and we should knock that on the head.