"Revenge Porn" Victims deserve more than a complaints mechanism

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The Liberals’ announcement today regarding the non-consensual sharing of private sexual images represents a wasted opportunity. A complaints mechanism alone, without a new criminal offence to back it up, will do little to stop the use of technology to threaten, coerce and humiliate victims.

The Turnbull Government has ignored the advice of the COAG Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children led by Ken Lay and Rosie Batty.

The Advisory Panel’s report to COAG recommends that the Federal Government introduce strong and consistent penalties for adults who distribute private sexual material without consent.

The report said that the introduction of a federal offence will improve community understanding of the consequences of distributing private sexual material – and the devastating impact it has on victims.

A recent Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee report found overwhelming support from family violence advocates, sexual assault services and law enforcement. for the introduction of specific criminal offences criminalising “revenge porn”.

The report recommends new federal offences that criminalise sharing, or threatening to share, private sexual images and recordings without consent.

The Federal Government needs to send a clear message to the community that these behaviours are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Today’s announcement by the Turnbull Government is a weak response and is in stark contrast to Labor’s decisive approach to online victimisation.

Labor will enact these recommended criminal offences within the first hundred days of a Shorten Labor Government.

Labor will also work within COAG towards specific offences prohibiting the covert installation of spying apps on smartphones.

TERRI BUTLER MP
SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR CHILD SAFETY AND PREVENTION OF FAMILY VIOLENCE
MEMBER FOR GRIFFITH

TIM WATTS MP
MEMBER FOR GELLIBRAND

 
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