Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Attorney General; Minister for Commerce

    WA Parliament passes ‘revenge porn’ legislation

    20/02/2019 5:30 AM
     
    • Criminal Law Amendment (Intimate Images) Bill 2018 passes through State Parliament
    • Legislation gives effect to the Government's election commitment to criminalise the non-consensual distribution of intimate images 

    Sharing intimate images of someone without their permission will attract jail time of up to three years, after new laws passed State Parliament yesterday (February 19).

     

    The Criminal Law Amendment (Intimate Images) Bill makes 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 will 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.

     

    In the case of someone under 16, the law says they cannot legally consent to an image of themselves being shared. The law aims to strike a balance between protecting young people from this harmful behaviour, and not unduly criminalising them.

     

    Earlier this week, RMIT University revealed that one in 10 people have committed image-based sexual abuse, according to new research that will be published next month. https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/all-news/2019/feb/image-based-abuse 

     

    The Department of Justice will engage with other agencies in a campaign to increase awareness of the new laws before they come into effect on April 15, 2019.

     

    Further information about the new laws can be found on the Department of Justice's website at http://www.justice.wa.gov.au

     

    Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:

     

    "The McGowan Labor Government has brought the law into line with advances in technology to address the growing prevalence of image-based abuse.

     

    "This form of abuse is serious, harmful and completely unacceptable, and that's why we've introduced tough penalties for those who feel they can violate another individual's privacy and dignity in this way.

     

    "Under the new laws, perpetrators could spend up to three years behind bars.

     

    "Image-based abuse also extends beyond the scenario of ex-partners sharing an intimate image without consent to seek revenge.

     

    "It has emerged as an increasingly common feature in family and domestic violence cases, used as a means of coercing and controlling the victim, and it is also used to facilitate so-called 'sextortion'.

     

    "Criminalising this degrading and dehumanising practice is long overdue and it will no longer be tolerated."

     

    Attorney General's office - 6552 6800