The Laws in Australia


In most Australian States and Territories, and at the Federal or Commonwealth level, it is a crime to take, share or threaten to share a person’s intimate images without their consent. If found guilty, an offender can face a range of penalties, including imprisonment. In some states and territories, an “intimate image” also includes a digitally altered image (e.g., a “deepfake”).

Australia also has a civil law Image-Based Abuse Scheme that is administered by the eSafety Commissioner. You can find the Scheme in Part 6 of the Online Safety Act 2021 (Cth). A person who posts, or threatens to post, an intimate image without the consent of the person depicted in the image may receive a formal warning or a removal notice, or be issued a remedial direction. A failure to comply can result in a civil penalty of up to 500 penalty units.

While this page focuses on offences related to image-based abuse (IBA), it is important to note that this abuse can give rise to a wide range of legal causes of action, such as copyright infringement, defamation or breach of confidence.

State and Territory Offences

Click on the map below to learn about the laws that apply to IBA in your state or territory. You can find federal offences here.

Disclaimer: Please note that this map is not exhaustive and does not include all offences under which perpetrators of IBA could be prosecuted.

Criminal offences for image-based abuse can be found under the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

Offence Name and SectionMaximum Penalty
Aggravated offences involving private sexual material – using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence - s 474.17A5 years imprisonment
Special aggravated offence - s 474.17A(4)7 years imprisonment
*Here “s 474.17A” means section 474.17A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).