‘Revenge Porn’ Law Passes In The Senate

April 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Criminal Code Amendment Non-Consensual Sharing of Intimate Images Act 2021 – the ‘revenge porn’ bill — has passed in the Senate. The Bill has already passed in the House of Assembly, so it will now head to the Governor for assent before taking effect.

Attorney-General Kathy Lynn Simmons previously explained that the Bill “introduces criminal offences and penalties relating to the non-consensual sharing, or threat of sharing, intimate images and prohibited visual recordings, as well as the offences of observing or making recordings in breach of a person’s privacy.”

“In our twenty-first century world, a new form of technology-facilitated abuse has emerged that is commonly known as ‘revenge porn’.” she said. “The relevant offences proposed within the Bill for inclusion in the Criminal Code Act 1907 are:

  • Observations or recordings in breach of privacy;
  • Distributing intimate images;
  • Distributing prohibited visual recordings; and
  • Threats to distribute intimate images or prohibited visual recordings.

“To operate as an appropriate deterrent, and to ensure the seriousness of the offences is understood by the public, the penalties for all offences are up to three years on summary conviction and up to five years on indictment.”

Speaking after the Bill passed in the Senate, OBA Senator Marcus Jones said, “Protecting potential victims of revenge porn is desperately needed and welcomed to keep up with an ever-evolving technology that allows for the digital transfer of damaging images. Though I do have a few concerns that I expressed today:

“Is the length of imprisonment of 3 and 5 years adequate to act as a deterrent to this heinous act? Will the government beef up its preventative and educational programs to inform adults and children of this behavior that is now an offense and subject to conviction?

“Does the government have a remedy for the children under the age of 18 who are the perpetrators of this crime who will not be subject to conviction for the contravention of this new legislation?”

OBA Senator Robin Tucker said, “This Bill is a good thing as it speaks to the seriousness of and highlights the damage that can be done as a result of nonconsensual sharing of intimate images.

“While the Bill criminalizes the recording and sharing of intimate images, it is necessary to give powers to police to remove the offending images before persons are convicted. Powers should be given for the offending images to be removed once the complaint is lodged so as to minimize circulation which is especially important in this close community.

“Long term victims may suffer tangible losses, embarrassment, potential for job losses, reputational damage and they may even have to bear the cost of having the materials removed. The cost of all of these should be borne by the perpetrator.

“This Bill is a good start towards protecting the privacy for all persons in Bermuda.”

The Criminal Code Amendment [Non-Consensual Sharing of Intimate Images] Act 2021[PDF here]:

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