Following a leak of hundreds of thousands of sexual based images of women online calls have mounted to ensure that the uploading or sharing of such images will become a criminal offence. The Harassment, Harmful Communications and related Offences bill, otherwise known as ‘Coco’s Law’, is due to come into effect before the years end. Outraged third level students in Carlow organized a safe socially distanced rally in Carlow town before joining hundreds of others in an online rally, they were supported by People Before Profit cllr Adrienne Wallace.
In a statement the students said: “We, students of Carlow College, denounce the actions of the five hundred plus men involved in the non-consensual taking, sharing and distribution of pictures of young Irish women, both adult and minors, on the Discord server that was discovered recently. We also denounce any other servers that may exist and the continued possession of these pictures by any individual without consent. We stand by the victims of this disgusting attack on women’s privacy and support any legislation that seeks to criminalize image based sexual assault. Furthermore, we believe this to be a clear and indictive sign that sexism and misogyny are still present in our society. We believe the time has come for the outdated, ingrained misogyny that is in our society, institutes, and systems to be removed. We will no longer tolerate this type of depraved and sickening behaviour and we will no longer remain silent and complicit in its continued existence.”
Cllr Adrienne Wallace added “I commend the students for getting organized and saying loud and clear that we will not tolerate this type of behaviour in the 21st Century. Society should follow the lead of young people and lead a conversation about how attacks like this continue to happen to women. We must challenge the cuts that have been heaped onto Rape Crisis Centers, Women’s Aid and the lack of a women’s refuge in Carlow. If we want to challenge systemic sexism we must challenge the system that puts tax cuts in the private sector over funding this sector.”