Australia Just Launched The World's First National Anti-Revenge Porn System

The portal will allow victims to report instances of image-based abuse and give them access to immediate support.

Revenge porn — the practice of sharing sexually explicit images or videos of a person on the Internet without the consent of the subject — is a worldwide problem. After announcing plans to combat the troubling epidemic nearly a year ago, Australia is now the first country to address revenge porn on a national level.

Per Gizmodo, our friends down under have developed a national portal that aims to provide support and reporting tools for victims of revenge porn, and it's currently available in a pilot phase so the team can determine "the volume and complexity of the reports received." The portal was created, in part, because Australia's laws (as well as those around the world) often fail to adequately protect those negatively impacted by revenge porn. 

According to a press release from Australia's Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield, eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant received $4.8 million in funding to deploy the portal, which is said to be the first of its kind. "The portal will allow victims to report instances of image-based abuse and give them access to immediate and tangible support that has previously been unavailable," the release notes, adding that "one in five women aged 18 to 45 and one in four Indigenous Australians" experience image-based abuse.



In the United States (and in many other parts of the world) revenge porn statistics are just as alarming. A 2016 report from the Data & Society Research Institute and the Center for Innovative Public Health Research found about four percent of internet users in the U.S. — or about 10 million people — may have been the victims of revenge porn. Although four percent may sound like a small figure, it amounts to around one in 25 people. 

Thankfully, as Australia's initiative demonstrates, lawmakers around the world are working to address this growing problem. In 2016, the U.K. passed a law making it a crime to distribute revenge porn, and according to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (which was founded by a victim of revenge porn named Holly Jacobs,) 38 individual states and Washington D.C. now have laws in place that protect people from the practice.

However, there is still a great deal of work to be done. As CCRI board member Mary Anne Franks told A Plus last year, "What we really need in order to get a handle on this problem is for the federal government to step into action and make this a federal crime. We really want people to understand how serious this is. The goal that all of us have is that nonconsensual pornography doesn't happen."

Australia's national portal is expected to officially launch in early 2018, and there's hope other countries will follow suit by putting similar safeguards in place.

Cover image via Shutterstock / Namning.

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