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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 6 (7 June) . .

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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms Burch) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Crimes (Intimate Image Abuse) Amendment Bill 2017

Mr Hanson, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (10.01): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I rise this morning to present the bill titled Crimes (Intimate Image Abuse) Amendment Bill. This addresses an issue that is growing and damaging—the distribution of private images of a person without their consent. We have certainly heard of terms like "sexting" and "revenge porn", but these terms do not do justice to the real harm being done by these actions.

An article on a research paper by RMIT on 8 May this year stated:

The first comprehensive research on 'revenge porn' has revealed the mass scale of victimisation across Australia, with 1 in 5 people suffering image-based abuse.

One in five, Madam Speaker: this is a widespread problem. And it is a serious problem. In the same article, RMIT University's Dr Nicola Henry said:

This isn't just about 'revenge porn'—images are being used to control, abuse and humiliate people in ways that go well beyond the 'relationship gone sour' scenario.

Victims have also found the courage to speak out, and some of their stories are truly harrowing. There is one of a girl of 17 who shared an image. The report in the Daily Telegraph of 5 April this year takes up her story. I quote:

Three years later her photos were found by a friend of her boyfriend while he perused an image sharing site.

He knew it was her because it had her full name and former school listed.

It also had messages about her sexual behaviour, with various members talking about sexual acts she had performed on them—none of which were true.

On the message boards she was objectified, vilified and dehumanised.

The story also highlights how powerless victims feel. The article continues:


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