Online Abuse, Australia News, Victoria, Law (Australia), Sexual Harassment

Online Abuse, Australia News

Revenge porn: most perpetrators in Victoria spared jail for the crime, report finds

Revenge porn: most perpetrators in Victoria spared jail for the crime, report finds

10/27/2020 2:13:00 AM

Revenge porn: most perpetrators in Victoria spared jail for the crime, report finds

Majority of those imprisoned for image-based abuse have also committed other offences, according to Sentencing Advisory Council

Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PAThe majority of those sentenced with revenge porn crimes in Victoria do not serve time directly for those offences, the Sentencing Advisory Council has found.Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PAMon 26 Oct 2020 16.30 GMTDespite laws criminalising revenge porn in

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Victoria, those who create and share it are almost never imprisoned unless sentenced with other crimes, according to a new government report.Revenge porn, more accurately known as image-based sexual abuse (Ibsa), is the act of creating, sharing or threatening to share naked or sexually explicit images of someone without their consent.

Image-based abuse was criminalised in Victoria in 2014, and while the state has some of the most comprehensive legislation in the world,rates of victimisation are still risingand victim-survivors face huge obstacles when seeking justice.The Sentencing Advisory Council, an independent statutory body that conducts research on the way crimes are sentenced in Victoria, released a report on Tuesday showing the majority of those sentenced for image-based abuse crimes do not serve time only for those offences. headtopics.com

Read more“When it does attract imprisonment, that sentence is often an aggregate sentence imposed on multiple offences or a concurrent sentence that does not require any actual time in custody,” the report read.Three-quarters of all imaged based abuse charges that come before the courts include at least one other offence.

The council’s chair, Prof Arie Freiberg, said since the laws were introduced it was unlikely that any purely image-based abuse case brought to the courts had resulted in imprisonment.The report suggested this is especially troubling when you take into account that low reporting rates, and availability of non-criminal responses, suggest that cases that do make it to the courts are relatively serious.

Another key finding was a strong link between image-based abuse and family and domestic violence.“What we found was it’s often not a disgruntled boyfriend, or some random relationship that’s gone wrong and somebody sends these images. It’s part of a whole constellation of family violence, and it’s very often related to the emerging issue of coercive control,” Freiberg said.

The council found more than half (54%) of all image-based abuse charges were brought alongside family violence offences. The single most common co-offending was breaching an intervention order, which was present in more than a quarter of all cases.“All of those indicate that the relationship between these offences is much stronger than we had suspected … This is very serious behaviour, but sentencing outcomes don’t seem to reflect this seriousness,” he said. headtopics.com

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Read moreThe report showed that – compared to other states, and the damage suffered by victim-survivors – the maximum penalties for image-based abuse charges were low. This is particularly for the offence of threatening to share an image, which bears only one-year’s maximum imprisonment rather than two.

“It’s often the case that threat offences are actually even more serious to people than the act itself because of the fear it instils in victims, especially in a family violence situation,” Freiberg said.The majority of imprisonments for image-based abuse were less than six months.

“We’re not suggesting that longer imprisonment is the answer for everything, but we are suggesting that courts need to think seriously about it, particularly at the top end of these offences.”Overall, the number of Ibsa convictions in Victoria has risen, from only 25 cases in 2014–15 to 91 cases in 2018–19, but this is still indicative of extreme under-reporting.

The report suggests that police recorded, at most, one offence for every 3,000 Victorians, but multiple studies show that as many as one in four Australians have experienced Ibsa in their lifetime – although the severity of this offending varies.Victorians – including victim-survivors – don’t appear to see image-based abuse as a criminal matter headtopics.com

Arie FreibergFreiberg suggested this may be due to a lack of community understanding that image-based abuse is actually a crime.When 15-year-old Mary* had a photo of her breasts shared around her school without her consent, no one at the school called the police.

“His parents and my parents got taken to the principal’s office and had a chat. He pretty much got a slap on the wrist, and was told not to do it again,” she said.“They were pretty much telling me off, saying that I shouldn’t have sent those to him. ‘Like, what did you expect would happen?’”

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The boy’s actions held a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment, even without the added issues of distributing naked pictures of a child, but his punishment was much less severe.“His parents said to him that they would take away his jet ski, and that was as far as it went.”

One study found fewer than halfof Australians even know it is a criminal offence to share intimate images without consent, and victims are often still blamed for their abuse.“Victorians – including victim-survivors – don’t appear to see image-based abuse as a criminal matter. Community education is likely to be a useful part of any government response,” Freiberg said.

Read moreAnother key problem is that unlike in other states, in Victoria and South Australia image-based abuse is a summary offence, which can seriously hamper the ability of police to investigate those crimes.“The change is not necessarily so more cases can come before the county court, but it will give police more powers of entry, search and seizure, where they can quickly get to the computers and other devices that are being used, and enable them to get evidence that they might not otherwise get,” Freiberg said.

The limits to police powers can make it more difficult to prosecute cases where images are sent over apps like Snapchat, which deletes images after sending.All these elements, from the community to the courtroom, make imaged-based abuse difficult to prosecute in Victoria, with only 306 unique cases brought before the courts since their introduction,” Freiberg said.

“It’s a very, very small number in the grand scheme of things. That doesn’t mean that they’re not important … We would only expect it to increase and we would expect more conviction and more sentences.“In the life cycle of offences these are relatively new and everyone is still learning how to use them.”

* Name has been changed to protect the identity of the victim. Read more: The Guardian »

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Those who experienced the issue, they’re jailed through the jobs that turn them down. Through the opportunities that pass, all because someone got their feelings hurt, and spread something. So why do the spreaders avoid the same 🧐. So are rapists, so no surprises here.

'I found my boyfriend's porn mags and it's left me feeling insecure''I'm not prudish about the porn magazine but they were quite niche and totally different from my body type, it's left my self conscious' Porn mags!! 😂 are they still available 🤣🤣 This story from the early 90's

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