Young people who distribute, or threaten to distribute, explicit images without consent could soon be charged under new Napthine government laws.
According to The Age, the offences, to be introduced into Parliament today, will prevent young people who receive or send inappropriate material from earning a place on the sex offenders register due to child pornography charges.
The new laws come after a report in The Sunday Age suggested that young people were struggling to maintain career prospects after being caught with inappropriate images of underage peers.
To combat the issue, the Victorian Law reform Committee launched an Inquiry into Sexting, which produced the new laws.
Currently, all explicit images of children under 18 are deemed child pornography and those who take and distribute them are identified as child pornographers.
“It is important that the law keeps up with rapid changes in the use of technology, and that we ensure young persons aged under 18 are not inappropriately prosecuted or added to the sex offenders register for consensual, non-exploitative sexting,” Attorney-General Robert Clark said.