Listen Live

Listen Live

Listen Live

HomeNewsBC moves forward with legislation to help victims of revenge porn

BC moves forward with legislation to help victims of revenge porn

(Files by Dione Wearmouth-MyPGNow)

The BC Government is taking steps to address the ongoing issue of non-consensual distribution of intimate images, also known as revenge pornography.

The province is now undertaking consultations on possible legislation which could help victims protect themselves from the crime, and seek recourse.

New legislation could provide a new option to ensure people have an efficient way to get posted images taken down or destroyed and could create a new process for people to claim compensation from wrongdoers.

The publication of intimate images without consent is an offense under Canada’s Criminal Code.

- Advertisement -

However, Bally Bassi, Community Social and Justice Programs Manager at Elizabeth Fry Society in Prince George says the non-consensual element of the crime does make it a form of sexual violence that both men and women endure.

“If there’s a breakdown of a relationship, be that marriage, or be that a dating relationship, there’s been a breakdown and there were photos or images taken during that relationship that was consensual, however, at the breakdown point of it then they’re emphasized and put out there in many different forms and the consent is altered,” Bassi explained.

According to Bassi, the Elizabeth Fry Society serves many victims of Revenge Porn on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, Canada’s National Tipline for Reporting the Online Sexual Exploitation of Children shows adults aren’t the only ones being exploited online by the non-consensual disclosure of intimate images.

The site showed reported incidents of non-consensual disclosure of intimate images increased 58% by the start of 2021, compared to the nine-month period prior to April 1st of last year, this included a 94% increase in youth reporting and a 44% increase in adults reporting.

“Online exploitation is occurring increasingly more often, especially amongst the youth population. Individuals are groomed and lured online for sexual purposes. Online grooming often takes place over an extended period of time, through the establishment of what appears to be a relationship,” reads the Elizabeth Fry Society website.

According to the site, youth are exceptionally vulnerable because of the impact social media has on their judgement, making the lure of travel, interesting people, and popularity even more enticing.

“At the end of the day, it’s an abuse of power,” says Bassi.

Bassi says victims of this crime often have to deal with severe consequences that leaves them questioning their self-worth and identity while dealing with a harmed reputation that can impact their career and personal life.

“The other impact is the impact of trauma, and that traumatic impact is long term, it’s not something that goes away within weeks, months, or years – it impacts you for your life,” she said.

Historically there haven’t been many resources available for victims of Revenge Porn, but the Elizabeth Fry Society works closely with the RCMP,  BC Society for Transition Housing, and the Ending Violence Association of BC to determine new ways to help victims.

Resources and information on preventing and handling the non-consensual distribution of intimate photos online can be found on the Elizabeth Fry Society website and Cybertip.ca.

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisement -

Continue Reading

More