#ACT police use new laws to tackle intimate image abuse, #”revenge porn”


_________________________

Reactionary laws introduced a year ago to tackle revenge porn and image abuse are difficult to monitor unless someone comes forward.

ACT Policing sexual assault and child abuse team head Detective Sergeant Tony Crocker said police don’t have the resources to be identifying victims of these crimes, and instead rely on people to come forward to report them.

“We don’t become aware of the victims until a teacher or a parent has located the information or a victim has been threatened with the release of it,” Detective Sergeant Crocker said.

He said the nature of online image sharing made the police’s ability to locate all unwanted intimate images online an impossible task.

“The issue with these images is once they’re taken you never know where they’re going to end up.”

“It’s a bit of managing expectations of the victims, we can’t get those images back.”

Seven men have been charged under the ACT legislation since the laws, which prohibit any non-consesual capturing or distributing of intimate images, were introduced in August 2017.

A police spokesman said 22 people were charged under Commonwealth legislation after August 2017, for offences that took place prior to the introduction of the ACT legislation. Of those 22 people, one was aged under 18 and three were women.

The laws were designed to tackle a rise in reports of upskirting, Detective Sergeant Crocker said, and the need for advances in technology such as wearable cameras to be covered by the legislation.

He said the new laws had resulted in fewer reports of upskirting.

Detective Sergeant Crocker said the police partnered with organisations like the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre and SupportLink to ensure victims had the appropriate support as it was a crime that could have a huge impact.

He said it was important for victims to remember they were not to blame.

“The main thing is betrayal of trust,” Detective Sergeant Crocker said.

“They’ve trusted someone, if it was consensual to take these images, to keep those images within the four walls that they were taken.”

Detective Sergeant Crocker described the ACT as being at the forefront of investigating these types of crimes with the new legislation in place. But he held concerns over the term “revenge porn”.

“This is not revenge porn legislation, this is the unlawful capturing of intimate images and the distribution of them,” he said.

“There’s nothing in the legislation that says anything about revenge as a motivation.”

“I just don’t want people to think that what has happened to them is right because it wasn’t motivated by revenge. And I don’t want people to capture images thinking provided they don’t have this revenge motivation they will get away with it.”

A spokeswoman for the ACT government said the term intimate image abuse better captured the nature of the conduct trying to be stopped.

The spokeswoman said the legislation would continue to be reviewed and any changes needed to the legislation were being looked at by a standing committee with recommendations expected in October.

Source: https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/act-police-use-new-laws-to-tackle-intimate-image-abuse-revenge-porn-20180803-p4zvcx.html


_________________________