Revenge pornography legislation changes on a week-by-week basis. We will be tracking these updates, as well as notable progress made in revenge pornography cases, and sharing them weekly in this space.
26 October 2017
This week, Johnny Lieu reported for Mashable that the Australian government has opened a new online portal for victims of revenge porn (or “image-based abuse”). The portal is available here: https://www.esafety.gov.au/image-based-abuse/.
On the site, the Australian Office of the eSafety Commissioner outlines ways that victims can take action, including filing a complaint through a web form. The site includes information on how to get social media websites to remove revenge porn content. It also has a series of helpful support articles for victims that explain how to approach the police, what information to take to lawyers, etc. Plus, as Mallory Locklear writes for Engadget, the site links victims to legal resources and provides advice on how to find a qualified attorney.
The USA and the UK should certainly follow Australia’s example. Revenge porn is a digital crime, and many victims’ first response when they realize they’re a victim is to go to Google to try to assess their options. A government-sponsored support website can go a long way to support victims as they gauge their options. The UK has its Revenge Porn Helpline, which is an important resource for victims but is not nearly as robust as the new Australian site. The US currently has no federal website dedicated to helping revenge porn victims. While the variability of US state laws does make it more difficult to explain victims’ legal options, Australia’s government site includes a guide to the differences between laws in each Australian state and territory, and the US government can and should do the same.