Someone secretly photographs your breasts while you are showering in the open-air swimming pool.
You’re photographed from behind while changing after sport.
A voyeur takes photos of you while sunbathing topless.
Illegal, right? Nope, all that goes unpunished in Germany.
Every year, thousands of people are photographed or filmed against their will. In Germany, perpetrators usually have nothing to fear when taking naked photos of people without their permission. They get off scot free even if these are taken with a hidden camera or a powerful telephoto lens.
Here at Kulturkosmos, we’ve experienced it ourselves. In 2019, at Fusion Festival, guests were secretly filmed in the shower area with a hidden camera. The perpetrator later published the footage on a pornographic platform. When we were made aware of this some time later, we immediately filed criminal charges. We even succeeded in identifying the perpetrator. But the public prosecutor's office had to drop the case. The perpetrator had not done anything that was punishable under German law!
The person who has been photographed can file a criminal complaint only if they are identifiable in the picture or video. And the perpetrator can only be charged if a complaint is filed by the victim themselves.
If the voyeur has taken the picture for his "private use" - for his own sexual gratification - then the possibility for the victim to file charges disappears.
And if the person concerned is not recognisable from the images, such as in the cases of close-ups of intimate body parts, the perpetrators have even more cartes blanches.
The Criminal Code (§ 184k StGB) punishes unauthorised naked recordings only if body parts are “covered”. If body parts are not covered, the photographing (even in secret) is only punishable if the person concerned is in a "room specifically protected against viewing" (§ 201a StGB).
This includes for example a toilet cubicle, but does not include public saunas, showers in swimming pools, or lakes or festivals. It cannot remain without criminal consequence that people (the vast majority of which are women) are photographed naked without their consent and thus abused for perpretators’ sexual gratification.
Both the illicit recording and the act of distributing this content must be prosecuted and this gap in the law must close.
That we(!) have to go to locked and marked rooms for sancturay is not “protection”. We have the right to our bodies, no matter how we dress or where we are. All spaces must be equally protected by the law. No space can belong to the perpetrators!!!
Our body belongs to us, no matter where.
To this end, we demand:
Section 184k of the German Criminal Code (StGB) must be extended to cover all unauthorised recordings of the unclothed intimate body parts (genitals, buttocks, breasts). This change in the law would offer us better protection. It is not relevant if these intimate body parts are visible and it is not relevant where we are!