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.

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 IBA-related offences in your state or territory. You can find federal offences here.

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).