Jilted lovers who threaten “revenge porn” now face up to two years in jail or a $10,000 fine under tough laws which take effect in South Australia from Friday.

They and others such as friends, colleagues or classmates risk committing a new offence of threatening to distribute an indecent or invasive image of a person.

The law aims to protect members of the public from humiliation or the genuine fear their intimate or explicit images will be shared without their consent.

Perpetrators of domestic violence who bully a current or former partner through threats of distributing intimate images can now face criminal charges.

The new laws include penalties of up to four years imprisonment or a $20,000 fine for distributing an invasive image where the person depicted is under 17.

The changes provide police and prosecutors with a more flexible range of offences to better reflect the nature of particular cases.

Background

The Summary Offences (Filming and Sexting) Act 2016 was passed by Parliament last month.

The new Act aims to ease a major area of public concern about sexting.

The new law of threatening to distribute an indecent or invasive image of a person under 17 carries a maximum penalty of 2 years jail or a $10,000 fine. For threatening to distribute such an image of an adult, the maximum penalty is one year in jail or a $5000 fine.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General John Rau

Revenge porn has become a worrying issue in the community.

Educating young people about the risks of sharing an explicit selfie is the first step in defusing the problem, but the law has a crucial role in setting the boundaries of acceptable behaviour.

These changes strengthen the criminal law - creating a major deterrent and strong penalties to curtail this phenomenon.