Stating the Law on Revenge Porn

As statistics climb and victims continue to suffer, the community is putting increasing pressure on politicians and lawmakers to address the issue of Revenge Porn. In Australia, each state has different laws that specifically target the action of sharing explicit images without consent in an attempt to deter the prevalence of the action.

Terry Goldsworthy is a former detective and is the Assistant Professor in Criminology at Bond University on the Gold Coast. In September 2017, Goldsworthy published an article on The Conversation titled, “Revenge porn laws may not be capturing the right people,” which aimed to highlight the relationship between Revenge Porn and the laws that are currently in place in Australia.

A copy of a table Goldsworthy created and published in his September article is below, which gives a detailed breakdown of the status of specific and non-specific Revenge Porn laws in Australian states.

STATE
ACT
TYPE OF IMAGE
PENALTY
Federal Using a carriage service to harass or cause offence. Section 474.17, Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). N/A Maximum three years’ imprisonment
ACT Non-consensual distribution of intimate images. Section 72C, Crimes Act 1900. Intimate image of a person:(a) means a still or moving image, in any form —

(i) of a person’s genital or anal region; or

(ii) for a female or a transgender or intersex person who identifies as a female — of the person’s breasts; or

(iii) of the person engaged in a private act; or

(iv) that depicts the person in a sexual manner or context; and

(b) includes an image, in any form, that has been altered to appears to show any of the things mentioned in paragraph (a).

Maximum of three years’ imprisonmentMaximum of five years if the image is of a person under the age of 16 years
NT No — but previous government considered drafting new laws.
NSW Distribute intimate image without consent, Section 91Q, Crimes Act 1900. Intimate image means:(a) an image of a person’s private parts, or of a person engaged in a private act, in circumstances in which a reasonable person would reasonably expect to be afforded privacy, or;

(b) an image that has been altered to appear to show a person’s private parts, or a person engaged in a private act, in circumstances in which a reasonable person would reasonably expect to be afforded privacy.

Maximum of three years’ imprisonment
QLD No.
SA Distribution of invasive image/humiliating or degrading film, Section 26B-C, Summary Offences Act 1953 (SA). Invasive image of the person if it depicts the person in a place other than a public place:(a) engaged in a private act; or

(b) in a state of undress such that —

(i) in the case of a female — the bare breasts are visible; or

(ii) in any case — the bare genital or anal region is visible.

Maximum of four years’ imprisonment if the image is of a person under the age of 17 yearsMaximum of two years’ imprisonment in any other case
TAS No.
VIC Section 41DA — Distribution of intimate image, Summary Offences Act 1966. Image is contrary to community standards of acceptable conduct. Maximum of two years’ imprisonment
WA Restraints on respondents, section 10G/61, Restraining Orders and Related Legislation Amendment(Family Violence) Act 2016. Not defined, talks about intimate personal images. Maximum of two years’ imprisonment

 

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