Revenge Porn Is Now Illegal in New South Wales

After a lifetime of confusion surrounding revenge porn and what can be done to combat it, Parliament has finally drawn up a ‘Crimes Amendment (Intimate Images) Bill’ to deal with the legal punishment of those who capture and distribute indecent images of others without consent. And now, those who do it, will face years in jail.

The amendment means that any distribution of intimate images (either stills or video) of a person engaged in a private act, or exposing the person’s private parts, can lead to the legal punishment of the distributor—whether or not they took it is irrelevant. If they share it, they can go down for it.

Interestingly, the same punishment applies for someone who alters an image to expose a person indecently. This could range from completely photoshopping genitals onto a picture of a person who wasn’t showing them, to increasing the brightness and contrast on a flash photo to expose someone’s nipples. All is now wrong in the eyes of the law.

When defining what the law sees as ‘private parts’, the amendment of Crimes Act’s description is surprisingly inclusive, labelling them as either “a person’s genital area or anal area, whether bare or covered by underwear,” or “the breasts of a female person, or transgender or intersex person identifying as female.”

The definition of ‘distribution’ has changed too—people still in with a chance of going to jail for having the intimate images (without consent from the person in them), even if they haven’t shared it online. This could be to combat the fact that even if someone hasn’t actually sent a nude photo from their phone to another, they could have showed the screen to any number of people.

If a person intentionally distributes an intimate image of another person without consent then that person is 100 per cent guilty of an offence—with the maximum penalty being three years in prison.

You can also go to prison for three years for threatening to either record an intimate image or distribute an intimate image without consent.

In addition to this, the bill states that the offending party must take action to “remove, retract, recover, delete, or destroy any intimate images recorded or distributed” by them. Meaning that as well as doing time for their crime, they are also responsible for getting rid of all sources of the image—this responsibility was always a little lost in previous cases, meaning that the images often still existed somewhere.

This is, hopefully, a great step forward in combatting abuse and dealing with consent in the digital age.

If you want to read the full Crimes Amendment Bill, you can do so, here.