Indecent exposure: a serious 'nuisance' offence

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Indecent exposure is arguably the most under-researched of all sexual offences and is seen as a trivial offence within British society. This is despite academic evidence and the recent murder in London of Sarah Everard, which both demonstrate that the offence can be a pre-cursor to more serious offending. This viewpoint reviews relevant literature on indecent exposure and introduces small-scale research undertaken by the author. It critically explores the prevalence of indecent exposure and the impact this offence has on the victim. The risk of re-offending and escalation for relevant men is also considered, alongside motivations for this type of offending. Ultimately, it is suggested that indecent exposure being viewed as a ‘nuisance’ by society and the criminal justice system is problematic. Increased prosecutions, monitoring and treatment of relevant men could further support the reduction of violence against women and girls.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWomen’s History Review
Early online date15 Nov 2021
Publication statusEarly online - 15 Nov 2021


  • indecent exposure
  • sexual offending
  • exhibitionism


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