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Building a protective network against online sexual violence

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The technological progress and widespread use of the internet have given rise to new forms of activity involving illegal use of personal images that cause serious harm to people's privacy, security and personal dignity. Starting from the perspective of victims' needs, the government is responding with proposed amendments to four laws tackling sexual violence crimes—the Criminal Code of the Republic of China, Crime Victim Protection Act, Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act, and Child and Youth Sexual Exploitation Prevention Act. If approved by the Legislative Yuan, these amendments would add a chapter dedicated to expanded protections, increase criminal liability, provide relevant assistance to victims, and enact related complementary measures to build a comprehensive protective network that more effectively prevents gender-based violence crimes.

Three strategies to build a protective network

Deter offenders before crimes occur: Amendments to the Criminal Code of the Republic of China would clearly outline the scope of criminal activity and criminal liability by providing a legal definition for sexual images and adding a chapter dedicated to crimes involving fabricated sexual images and offenses against privacy. Amendments to the Child and Youth Sexual Exploitation Prevention Act would impose heavier penalties on those who illegally record, manufacture or disseminate sexual images of children and youth.

Protect victims after crimes occur: Amendments to the Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act and the Child and Youth Sexual Exploitation Prevention Act would establish mechanisms to remove webpage content and confiscate tools or equipment used to record or produce sexual images after a crime was committed, thereby reducing secondary victimization. Amendments to the Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act and the Crime Victim Protection Act would enact measures to protect and assist victims by providing protection orders, litigation assistance, referrals to psychological counseling, and identity confidentiality.

Stop repeat offenders: Amendments to the Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act would stipulate that in addition to being assessed criminal penalties, offenders must undergo special treatment—physical and psychological rehabilitation, counseling, education or probation—as well as supervisory measures including reporting to and registering with police agencies, and receiving visits from officers. This will improve the implementation and enforcement of community-based monitoring of offenders.

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