Image-based abuse complaints mechanism

The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner welcomes the Government’s announcement today for the Office to establish a national online complaints mechanism, to assist Australians to access tangible support when intimate images or videos are posted without their consent. The portal will be live in the first quarter of the next Financial Year 2017/18.

‘We are well placed to take on this role given our expertise in dealing with technology facilitated abuse. The Office has been operating a cyberbullying complaints scheme since 1 July 2015 for Australian children under 18 years of age,’ says Acting Children’s eSafety Commissioner, Andree Wright.

‘Through this scheme, we deal with complaints from young people about the posting of non-consensual images and videos. We work collaboratively with industry to rapidly remove material and help complainants to identify pathways to deal with their broader concerns.’

The Office also provides advice and support for women under the Government’s Women’s Safety Package to Stop the Violence, assisting them to manage technology risks and abuse by giving them tools and resources to be confident and protect themselves online.

‘As a result, we are well aware of the prevalence of this issue and its insidious effects. eSafetyWomen provides extensive advice and a case study video—Sam’s story—to assist those who may have experienced this with pathways for support,’ says Wright.

‘In our experience, quick mechanisms to provide non-judgemental advice and relief will be critical in addressing the perception that nothing can be done about such images once they are online,’ adds Wright.

Ahead of the portal’s launch, the Office will conduct extensive research to help inform its development and related resources, as well as engage with local and international stakeholders to ensure that it is positioned to best meet the needs of affected Australians.

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