AWAVA welcomes the opportunity to contribute a submission to the Senate inquiry into ‘the phenomenon colloquially referred to as “revenge porn”, which involves sharing private sexual images and recordings of a person without their consent, with the intention to cause that person harm’.
We support moves to criminalise the non-consensual sharing of intimate images in Commonwealth law. The best protection in the Australian context will be achieved by a specific-purpose Commonwealth law mirrored by consistent and uniform State and Territory laws. Penalties for the offence should be substantial, reflecting the harm caused and the need to deter potential offenders. The definition of the offence should recognise that there are cultural and other differences in understandings of what is intimate or sexual. It should also focus on the potential harm caused to the victim, rather than the intention of the offender, with culpability framed in terms of recklessness with regard to the likely impacts on the victim, rather than depending on intention per se, which can be difficult to establish.