Image based abuse (sometimes called image based, revenge porn or sextortion) is the name for the non-consensual sharing of intimate images under the HDCA. It is a type of online sexual harassment and can be an offence under the current Harmful Digital Communications Act. Parliament is currently considering the Harmful Digital Communications (Unauthorised Posting of Intimate Visual Recording) Amendment Bill. If successful, this legislation will lower the threshold to prosecute someone sharing intimate images without consent.

Does Netsafe support the amendment?

Netsafe supports the proposed amendments to the HDCA as we know that strengthening the law is critical to helping people experiencing image based sexual abuse. If someone has shared your content, Netsafe can help and explain how the current law may apply to you.

How prevalent is image based sexual abuse?

Netsafe’s data shows that between May 2020 and April 2021, 66.6 percent of the reports we received categorised as image-based sexual abuse were made by females. Reports from under 21-year-olds (of all genders)
comprised 44.4 percent of reports.

Is it illegal to share someone’s intimate images?

Sending and swapping nudes can be a fun and healthy part of dating.  While some people don’t mind receiving an unexpected naked image, for some, this can be uncomfortable – and it can be a form of harassment. The Harmful Digital Communications Act makes it a criminal offence to disclose sensitive personal facts about a person or break confidences. Hefty fines or jail terms can be applied to those who breach the law.

Get help with image based sexual abuse

If someone has shared your content, Netsafe can explain the options available and provide expert incident advice. Our service is free and confidential, and we regularly deal with these types of reports.

Watch Netsafe’s submisssion

Martin Cocker, Netsafe Former CEO and Marissa Flowerday, Netsafe Former Legal Counsel, appeared before the Justice Committee to talk about Netsafe’s submission.


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