We welcome the opportunity to make a submission submission as part of the Commonwealth’s consultation on a new civil penalties regime for the non-consensual sharing of intimate images, and related matters. AWAVA supports moves to criminalise the non-consensual sharing of intimate images in Commonwealth law. As we have previously stated in our submission to the 2016 Senate inquiry into “the phenomenon colloquially referred to as ‘revenge porn’”:
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.