In a shocking incident discussed in a Senate Inquiry, a young woman shared how her abusive partner coerced her into having sex with a prostitute and then shared the images of it on pornographic websites.

The incident is the latest in the growing “Revenge Porn” phenomena, where young girls and women have their sexually explicit and intimate images posted online by current or former partners via social media or other websites. The intent is to humiliate the women. In a recent survey, one in 10 Australian adults admitted to have had a sexually explicit image of them sent to others without their permission, or had someone threaten to publicly share such an image.

The Senate Inquiry is considering whether new offences should be created in criminal and civil laws to deal with culprits of Revenge Porn. Currently, different states in Australia have different laws that could be applied to the publication of such images. However, no state other than Victoria have specific laws addressing the issue directly. 

Revenge Porn is one of the most extreme forms of online misogyny. It has long-term and severe impact on the victim’s life, and OHPI recommends strong punishments be put in place against the culprits. However, we also believes that websites and platforms which allow revenge porn to circulate without impunity should also be confronted by the government. If, the images stay online, even after the platform has been informed that they were uploaded without the person’s consent, it should be held accountable. People shouldn’t build platforms, unless they have the means to control the damage their misuse can cause to individuals and communities.

Here are all our publications on online misogyny.

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