Proposed changes to the Criminal Code were debated in Parliament yesterday to protect vulnerable people from the sharing of intimate images or recording without a person’s consent.
Speaking in Parliament, Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson said that the Criminal Code (Non-consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Amendment Bill 2018 would strengthen laws to address this disturbing trend.
Ms Simpson said that the LNP supported measures aimed at protecting Queenslanders from intimidating and threatening behaviour, particularly when it involves the non-consensual sharing of intimate images that are and should remain private.
“The betrayal and abuse of vulnerable people is not new, but the opportunities to use technology have brought untold hurt into people's most private worlds,” Ms Simpson said.
“The sharing of intimate images without someone's permission heightens this abuse in cruel and disrespectful ways.
“It was always wrong, but now these laws we are debating will make the pathway to seek justice easier by strengthening laws that acknowledge that it is wrong to distribute such images without someone's consent.”
Ms Simpson said that these new laws will apply to both sending, and threatening to send, intimate material without consent, and will come with a maximum penalty of three years jail.
“It cannot be underestimated just how damaging these offences are in terms of their impact upon people and their personal wellbeing. It is such an incredible abuse of their trust,” Ms Simpson said.
“Men, women and children should never be victims of such damaging conduct where they feel they have had stripped away their power to control how they present themselves to the world, where they feel they are being ridiculed beyond just their immediate circle and in fact to an untold larger world.
Ms Simpson spoke about the seriousness of the issue and the importance education, particularly for children.
“We must strive beyond just the letter of the law to get the message through in whatever way we reasonably can about how distributing such images, particularly without someone's permission, is so damaging in the long term,” Ms Simpson said.
“It should not have to rely just on a law for people to respect others, but it is because of the level of harm of this issue that we have to see these laws come before the House.”
Debate continues on the bill today and is expected to pass today.