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Province launches new services to help people protect intimate images

The Province is launching two new services with the Intimate Images Protection Act coming into force today. (Monday)

The province says these services will help those who’ve had their intimate images shared without their consent quickly access self-help tools to diagnose their legal issues, get information about their rights, and connect to supports.

“Circulating or threatening to distribute images is sexualized violence and it can have devastating impacts,” said Attorney General Niki Sharma.

“We are creating more legal options so that victims can get the justice they deserve on their own terms and making sure they have the tools and support to regain control of their lives.”

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Under the new legislation, the Civil Resolution Tribunal can order someone to pay fines of as much as $500 per day, if it is an individual or as much as $5,000 per day, if it is a website, for not following the order to stop sharing.

In Provincial Court, perpetrators can be ordered to pay significant damages of between $5,000 and $35,000, and the Supreme Court can award damages of more than $35,000.

“The Intimate Images Protection Act Reinforces our commitment to have robust enforcement against the unauthorized sharing of intimate images,”  said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.

“We are equipped to address these violations swiftly and effectively, enabling victims to stop the distribution of their intimate images and take back control. Perpetrators face stricter penalties, sending a clear message that this crime will not be tolerated.”

Additionally, the province is launching the Intimate Images Protection Service to ensure victims have dedicated services to support them.

This service provides:

  • Emotional support, information and resources;
  • help with applying to the Civil Resolution Tribunal;
  • Assistance in communicating protection orders issued by the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

The Intimate Images Protection Service will work collaboratively with the tribunal to ensure trauma-informed information and support is available to victims throughout the province.

“Carson was a 12-year-old boy and nothing seemed to faze him, until one day it did,” said Ryan Cleland and Nicola Smith, Carson’s parents.

Carson took his own life in response to online sextortion back in November.

“He was contacted on social media where they threatened to share his images. He was scared and made a snap decision to end his life. We are two broken parents trying to make sure this doesn’t happen to another family. If this is happening to you, please ask for help. You aren’t alone.”

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