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Sexting in Melbourne could result in a 2 year jail sentence

Changes to laws in Victoria, Australia could see persons involved in non-consensual sexting sentenced to up to two years in prison.

Published onNovember 3, 2014


Sharing intimate pictures with your partner may be harmless when done in good fun but recent news has highlighted the flipside of sexting and sharing sexually suggestive images online. Legislators in Victoria, Australia have passed new laws to clamp down on the non-consensual sharing of explicit images.

From today, sending sexually explicit message without consent is illegal in the state of Victoria. Threats to send this type of content are also covered by the law, the aim being to clamp down on blackmail and revenge messages. However, sharing images of yourself still seems legal. Anyone caught breaking the new laws faces up to two years in prison.

“Previously, the law provided only limited protection against malicious distribution of intimate images and this behaviour can cause considerable harm to victims, especially when images ‘go viral, … These new offences send a clear message that the malicious use of intimate images to embarrass and denigrate a victim is unacceptable and is a criminal offence.”

The law also makes amendments to child pornography charges relating to minors. Minors under the age of 18 years of age will no longer be criminalized for distributing or storing a sexually explicit message involving someone who is less than two years younger than them, as long as they have the other person’s permission.

Overall, the change in the law aims to clarify rules regarding the distribution of images involving under 18s and bolster the laws and protections offered regarding the sharing of images without an adult’s consent.

Do you think that the law in your country is doing enough to keep up with changes in technology?