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Submissions open on bill addressing image based abuse

March 19, 2021 at 2:14 PM

From the NZFVC

Submissions are open on the Harmful Digital Communications (Unauthorised Posting of Intimate Visual Recording) Amendment Bill. The closing date for submissions is 23 April 2021.

The Justice Committee is calling for submissions on the Harmful Digital Communications (Unauthorised Posting of Intimate Visual Recording) Amendment Bill

The closing date to make a submission is 23 April 2021.

This bill would amend the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 to make it an offence to post an intimate visual recording online, knowing that the individual who is the subject of the recording has not consented to the video being posted.

Currently under the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 it can be an offence to share (or threaten to share) intimate images or videos of someone else without their consent if the person who shared the content intended to cause harm, and if that harm meets a threshold. The Explanatory Note of the Bill states:

"This Bill recognises that the non-consensual publication of an intimate visual image is in and of itself harmful because it involves a breach of trust and confidence as well as a significant invasion of privacy. Thus the harm is implicit in the action. The Bill aims to prevent and mitigate harm caused to individuals by this form of sexual exploitation and to assist in the elimination all forms of violence against women." 

This type of image based abuse is often referred to as 'revenge pornography.' The call for submissions notes that revenge pornography "...is a form of sexual exploitation that involves the intentional, non-consensual disclosure of intimate visual recordings of another person who is either naked, exposed, or engaged in an intimate sexual activity."

Researcher Claire Meehan has written about the need to use the term image based sexual abuse to include the range and impact of the abuse, saying "There can be no question that ‘revenge porn’ is a consequence of gender inequality and should be framed within the context of domestic violence, rather than merely an online transgression."

Our previous news story highlighted reports on research into image based sexual abuse, pornography and online abuse and harassment in New Zealand. Find additional recent and international research in our library under our new Quick Search Topic Technology and Abuse.

Click here for more information



Category: Submissions