Sharing intimate images without consent
It is a crime in Queensland to share an intimate image of someone without their consent in a way that could reasonably cause distress to the other person.
While often referred to as ‘revenge porn’, sharing an intimate image without consent covers many behaviours and they are not always motivated by revenge.
A person under 16 cannot legally give consent.
It is also illegal to threaten to share an intimate image without the pictured person’s consent. This applies to threats made to the person in the image, or threats to anyone else. It is the case even if the image doesn’t exist.
An intimate image is defined under the new laws, and might include a photograph or video of a person:
- with their genitals or backside showing (whether bare or covered by underwear)
- with their bare breasts showing (if they are female or, if transgender or intersex, if they identify as female)
- engaged in an intimate sexual activity not normally done in public.
Digitally altered images are also included in the definition of an intimate image. For example:
- a person’s face digitally added to a pornographic or sexualised image
- a nude or partially nude person with their genitals or breasts digitally covered (e.g. with an emoji).
This is not a complete list.
It doesn’t matter if an image was originally taken with consent. If someone gave you the image or gave you permission to see the image, it does not mean they have agreed to anyone else seeing it.
If someone sends you an intimate image, don’t show it to anyone else without their willing consent—you cannot pressure them into agreeing.
If the person in the image is under 16, the law says it is never ok to share that image.
Even if the person has told you it’s ok to share, Queensland laws say a person under 16 cannot consent to an intimate image of them being shared.
The maximum penalty for sharing or threatening to share an intimate image without consent is 3 years in prison.
The courts can also order people who share the images—or even threaten to share the images—to take reasonable action to remove, destroy or delete them.
What you can do
If someone has shared or is threatening to share an intimate image of you or someone you know, you can:
- contact the Queensland Police Service
- contact the eSafety Commissioner to
- seek counselling and advice from
Other information that can help: