The Criminal Law Amendment (Intimate Images) Bill came into effect on 15 April 2019, making the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, or ‘revenge porn’, a crime which attracts jail time of either 18 months or three years and/or a fine of up to $18,000.
The new law does not make it a criminal offence for consenting parties to exchange intimate images, only to circulating them further without the consent of the person depicted in the image.
It also empowers courts to make a rectification order requiring a person charged with the new offence to remove or destroy the images in question, and ensures that existing threat offences apply to a threat to distribute an intimate image.
Under the law, someone under 16 cannot legally consent to an image of themselves being shared.
The eSafety Commissioner recommends that victims of image-based abuse take the following steps:
1. Collect evidence by taking screenshots and recording the URL of the page/s on which the image appears.
2. If it is safe, contact the person with the image and ask them to take it offline.
3. Report the image to the website administrator or social media service it is posted on as shared without consent.
4. Report the image to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and seek support and guidance on further steps to take.
5. Report the image-based abuse to the police.
For more information or to make a report, visit esafety.gov.au/iba