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Revenge porn crackdown: NSW puts harassers on notice

The NSW Government says sharing explicit images without consent can be used to humiliate, control or harass victims, and it must be stopped.

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Distributing "revenge porn" online or through messages could soon be a criminal offence in NSW.

The NSW Government has announced plans to introduce legislation that would criminalise "the distribution of intimate or sexually explicit images without consent," according to NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton.

There's a reason the practice is known as revenge porn. According to Upton, the sharing of these kinds of intimate or explicit images, without the consent, is often a tactic used by ex-partners looking for revenge or partners in domestic violence situations. And the impact on victims can be significant.

While there are laws that protect underage minors when it comes to the distribution of sexually explicit material, Victoria and South Australia are the only states that have criminalised revenge porn for those over the age of 18.

And Upton says its time for NSW to follow suit.

"These images can have a devastating emotional and social effect on the person pictured and can be used as a way to deliberately humiliate, control or harass the intended victim," she said.

"No one has the right to share explicit photos without consent, and new laws will protect people and make it clear this kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable.

"The use of mobile phones as recording devices has made it easier for people to share intimate images without consent on social media or websites, causing great distress for victims, and we need strong laws to protect them."

The NSW Government plans to release a discussion paper on the new laws this month, with consultation on issues including how images are shared, what constitutes "intimate" material, and how the laws should apply to young people.