Leadership and community consultation key to effective intimate images reform

Caroline Le Couteur 

Following an extensive consultation process, Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur today tabled a refined and updated Invasion of Privacy Bill to reflect the experiences and insights of key stakeholders, organisations and academics.

“We’ve heeded clear advice—particularly from the ACT Human Rights Commission, among others—to redefine key sections of our Bill to ensure greater balance between issues of community safety, human rights, our COAG obligations, and best practice from other jurisdictions,” Ms Le Couteur said.

More than 60 key stakeholders were approached to take part in the consultation process.

 

The Greens’ legislation will address a range of privacy invasion behaviours, including: the non-consensual taking or creating of intimate images; non-consensual sharing or distribution of images; and making threats to share these images without a person’s consent.

 

“Most submissions spoke to the importance of consent, in broad support of the Greens’ view that a stronger, clearer, more positive definition of consent be included as part of this reform.

“The Greens have believe that this isn’t a problem for another time or place, and that the ACT, as a human rights jurisdiction, must show leadership and a clear willingness to engage our community in these important discussions.

 

“While we welcome contributions from other parties on this issue, the Greens will be putting forward this legislation with the understanding that it reflects the views, broad consensus and key concerns of our community when it comes to complex issues of privacy and technology-facilitated abuse. We welcome the contributions of both the Labor and Liberal parties on this issue.”

 

“Intimate image abuse reform does not occur in a vacuum,” Ms Le Couteur added. “The ACT must complement the National Strategy to combat non-consensual image sharing, and complement the Commonwealth’s move towards the implementation of a civil penalties regime.”

 

In June Ms Le Couteur announced the release of a discussion paper and exposure draft legislation designed to address privacy and technology-facilitated abuse. It comes after Ms Le Couteur tabled a community petition in the Assembly in May on the criminalisation of so-called ‘revenge porn’.

 

Recent research shows that one in five Australians are victims of image-based sexual abuse - whether that’s upskirting, downblousing, so-called “revenge porn”, “sextortion” or threats of abuse.


One in ten Australians have had a sexual or intimate of them posted online or distributed without their consent. Additional research suggests four in five Australians want this to be a crime.