‘Revenge porn’ posters could be jailed for up to 2 years under new laws

September 13, 2016

Cyber-stalkers and people who post ‘revenge porn’ online to humiliate their current or former partner could face up to two years jail under tougher new laws to be introduced in WA.

The move follows a recommendation from a national senate inquiry held earlier this year that suggested revenge porn be criminalised at a federal and state level.

People who post intimate photos of ex-partners online could face up to two years jail.

People who post intimate photos of ex-partners online could face up to two years jail.
People who post intimate photos of ex-partners online could face up to two years jail.

The new WA penalty forms part of the state government’s proposed restraining orders and family violence bill to protect victims of domestic violence and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.

Attorney-General Michael Mischin said the proposed changes would empower a court to restrain a person subject to a family violence restraining order from publishing intimate images online.

“On its own, the justice system cannot eliminate family violence. However, we can encourage and support victims of violence in the home while seeking to deter, and punish, those in the community who choose to offend, and that is what this law does,” he said.

“In particular, those who breach the conditions of a FVRO by posting ‘revenge porn’ on the internet or by using technology to stalk the subject of the order online will face serious criminal charges, which could send them to jail for two years.”

The bill also proposes increasing the maximum sentence for the offence of unlawful assault causing death from 10 years to 20 years to help deter ‘one-punch attacks’ and family violence cases where more serious charges cannot be proven due to lack of witnesses.

A person who tries to ‘coerce, control or cause fear’ another person will be considered to have committed an act of ‘family violence’ by definition – expanding the meaning to not just include physical violence.

Mr Mischin said the bill would also strengthen penalties for people who commit a violent act to an unborn child and its mother.

“If a person intentionally causes grievous bodily harm to a pregnant woman which results in the loss of her pregnancy, that person will face up to 20 years’ imprisonment, while a person who causes grievous bodily harm to a woman’s unborn child in other circumstances could be jailed for up to 14 years.”

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