Wednesday, 24 May 2017
MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has today welcomed the NSW Government’s action to make sharing intimate images without consent a serious crime, saying it would hold controlling and vengeful offenders to account and help end victim blaming.
“People who share intimate images of victims without their consent have no place in and they will soon face prison time for their destructive breaches of privacy,” Mr Marshall said.
The Crimes Amendment (Intimate Images) Bill 2017, introduced into parliament yesterday, will make it an offence to intentionally record or distribute, or to threaten to record or distribute, an ‘intimate image’ of a person without their consent. The offences will carry a maximum sentence of three years in jail and an $11,000 fine.
Mr Marshall said intimate images include photos and videos of a person’s private parts or of a person engaging in a private act, such as undressing, showering, bathing, using the toilet or sexual behaviour not ordinarily performed in public. They also include images which have been altered to appear to show a person’s private parts, or a person engaged in a private act.
“Courts will be given a ‘take down’ power to compel offenders to take reasonable steps to destroy the images colloquially known as ‘revenge porn’ to prevent further distress to victims,” Mr Marshall said.
“I have met with several victims of these types of actions and unfortunately, many young people have been impacted by this sort of despicable behaviour.
“These reforms target the predatory and manipulative behaviour of those who use revenge porn to threaten, control or humiliate victims.
“It’s not the victim’s fault when an explicit image is shared without consent, and yet too often victims face a devastating emotional and social toll when these private moments go viral online.
“Offenders will now suffer consequences and the power balance will shift back towards victims, which is what our community would expect.”
The Director of Public Prosecutions will be required to approve prosecutions against children under 16 to ensure the new offences do not inappropriately criminalise naive activity between young people.
The new laws will not target children who take and distribute intimate images of themselves, or consenting adults involved in sexting.