Predators who post nudes of former partners without consent will be sent to prison.
Predators who post nudes of former partners without consent will be sent to prison. NewsRegional

First test for state’s revenge porn laws

FIVE Queenslanders charged with "revenge porn'' face up to three years in jail after police launched the first prosecutions for sending intimate images without consent.

Queensland Police yesterday revealed that five people have been charged with nine counts of sending intimate images or videos, and another has been charged with threatening to send revenge porn.

The charges - which have yet to be tested in court - are the first since the Palasczcuk Government introduced the state's first laws banning revenge porn in February.

State Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the non-consensual sharing of intimate images caused "humiliation and distress'' to victims.

"In some instances it is domestic violence,'' she told The Courier Mail yesterday.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said revenge porn caused “humiliation and distress” to the victims. Picture: John Gass/AAP
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said revenge porn caused “humiliation and distress” to the victims. Picture: John Gass/AAP

"It often represents a heartbreaking abuse of trust, as these intimate images are in many instances taken and shared as part of the most intimate of personal relationships.

"It is a weapon that can be used to hurt, humiliate, coerce and intimidate a victim in countless contexts.'

"You could face up to three years' jail for sharing, or threatening to share, intimate images and videos, even if they are photoshopped, without consent."

Consent to distribute naked photos must be given "freely and voluntarily'', by a person over the age of 16.

The new law also covers photoshopped images, and anyone threatening to distribute an image can be charged - even if the image doesn't exist.

Courts can order an offender to delete or remove images - or face up to two years in jail.

"We want victims to know that it is safe to come forward,'' Ms D'Ath said.

"They will not be blamed or shamed, they will be supported by the new laws.''

The Federal Government's eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant warned that "once you hit send on an intimate image it is out of your control forever''.

"It can end up virtually anywhere online,'' she said.

"We have seen terrible cases where people's intimate images are posted on rogue pornography websites.

"We know first-hand that image-based abuse can cause severe anxiety and stress on a victim, resulting in some people losing family, friends and even their jobs.''

Ms Inman Grant said her office had fielded nearly 1000 reports of image-based abuse since October 2017, with women making up 60 per cent of victims.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner succeeded in having 80 per cent of the images removed from websites.

Ms Inman Grant said perpetrators could be jailed for using a carriage service - a phone or the internet - to menace, harass or cause offence.

Need help? Visit esafety.gov.au or call DV Connect on 1800 811 811