Australia should be doing more to stop revenge porn

Mar 19, 2015 at 10:00 p.m. ET

What can a person do when intimate photos or video footage of themselves have been posted online by a former partner? In Australia, not all that much. They face blaming and shaming, public ridicule and judgement, but the perpetrator of such a nasty act goes without punishment.

Revenge porn goes further than a nude photo simply being shared online; these images and videos can feature on pornographic photo and video-sharing sites, which have thousands of viewers per week.

A photo taken for a significant other, which you thought was going to remain private, all of a sudden features on pornographic sites around the country and the world.

The pace of the advancement of technology is speeding up and it seems the Australian government is struggling to keep up with it.

While other countries around the world have strict laws that allow perpetrators of such acts to be punished, Australia doesn't currently offer the same level of protection or support to victims, and fails to ban websites for publishing content or penalise those who share personal videos in the first place.

According to the Australian, the Federal Police are aware revenge porn exists, but their advice for victims is to contact the sites on which their sensitive material is featured directly, rather than going to the police.

Treasurer, Joe Hockey, during an episode of Q&A, even admitted that Australia's laws don't match the modern-day challenges we face with technology.

"We have laws designed for yesterday that are failing to meet the challenge of a new world that is disintermediating and bringing in the consumer at a complete interface with other consumers," Mr. Hockey said.

There are many changes we'd like to see made to the law to ensure personal privacy is maintained and revenge porn is stopped. Here are six changes we'd like to see:

  1. Privacy laws introduced to protect victims of revenge porn from partners, friends or other individuals. Currently, the law protects people from companies and governments.
  2. Revenge porn should be considered a sexual violation in the eyes of the law.
  3. Local or federal police should investigate instances of revenge porn instead of leaving that up to victims.
  4. Australia could take a cue from the U.K., which recently banned revenge porn in England and Wales. Perpetrators should also face time in jail.
  5. A revenge porn helpline should be set up to offer support for victims.
  6. Compensation should be offered to victims.

The intention of revenge porn is to cause harm, so perpetrators should be punished accordingly. What do you think? Share you thoughts in the comments section below.

More on current events

Could having a conscientious partner increase your earning potential?
Parents put spotlight on anti-vaxxers following 4-week-old's whooping cough death
Single women have to work harder to retire comfortably

Comments