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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 August 2017) . . Page.. 2313 ..

Wednesday, 2 August 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 (Invasion of Privacy) Amendment Bill 2017

Ms Le Couteur, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (10.02): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

In May I tabled an exposure draft of this bill, and today’s updated bill reflects the feedback we have received from our stakeholder consultation. The idea behind this bill is to combat the non-consensual sharing of intimate images in the ACT. As Mr Hanson and I both said in this chamber in May, the non-consensual sharing of intimate images is a major problem in Australia, and a legislative response is well overdue. Eighty per cent of Australians think that the non-consensual sharing of intimate images should be criminalised, and one in five Australians have themselves been victims of image-based abuse.

Image-based abuse is disproportionately experienced by the most marginalised and vulnerable members of our community. One in two people with a disability have experienced image-based abuse, one in two Indigenous people, and the rates are higher than the base amongst the LGBTIQ community and amongst young people.

This is not a problem for another time or another place. This is all too common here in the ACT. We know about the recent prosecutions over the Grindr case. At the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, young women have now overtaken middle-aged women as the largest group accessing crisis response services, and 85 per cent of the young women presenting at the Rape Crisis Centre have experienced non-consensual sharing of intimate images and other forms of technology-aided abuse.

Technology-facilitated abuse is now an almost universal feature in domestic and family violence incidents, whether through using phones for tracking, harassment or surveillance, or by stealing passwords to gain access to personal information or computers. Particularly once a relationship ends, the non-consensual sharing of intimate images may well be part of the abuse.

I am very pleased that all parties are looking at this issue now. I congratulate the Attorney-General and the government on their ongoing engagement with COAG and in getting the national statement of principles for the criminalisation of non-consensual sharing of intimate images up, which has formed the basis of the Greens’ bill.

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