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Laws on sexual violence

Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009

This Act says it is an offence to force a person to look at a sexual image, or sexual written or verbal communication without their consent, where this is done for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, or for the purpose of causing humiliation, alarm or distress to the person at whom it is directed.

Section 9 of the Act makes ‘upskirting’ an offence (upskirting is the act of taking a photograph of underneath a person’s skirt without their consent, typically with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks).

In Scotland, sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 13 is rape. A child under the age of 13 is deemed to lack the capacity to consent to sexual activity, therefore any form of sexual activity with a child under the age of 13 is an offence.

The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 says the age of consent is 16. There are a few specifics to the law relating to age which is displayed in the table below.

Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016

This law states it is illegal to disclose or threaten to disclose an intimate photograph or film.

Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982

It is against the law for anyone to take, have or share an ‘indecent’ image of anyone aged under 18. This means taking, sending and sharing indecent images is illegal under the age of 18.

There is an exception to this where;

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For more information, you can visit the Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis website.