Re­venge porn

In ad­di­tion to crim­i­nal court, civil law­suits will be added for peo­ple who share in­ti­mate im­ages without con­sent

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Front Page - BY DAVID MA­HER david.ma­[email protected]­gram.com Twit­ter: DavidMa­herNL

Civil law­suits to be added along with crim­i­nal court for those who share without con­sent.

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment can’t stop peo­ple from send­ing nudes, but on Tues­day it in­tro­duced mea­sures to pro­tect those im­ages from be­ing shared without con­sent.

The In­ti­mate Im­ages Pro­tec­tion Act will al­low civil law­suits to be taken against peo­ple who share in­ti­mate im­ages without con­sent. The act de­fines an in­ti­mate image as any record­ing of a per­son who is nude, or ex­pos­ing gen­i­tals, or en­gaged in ex­plicit sex­ual ac­tiv­ity.

Those im­ages can be shared with con­sent to as many peo­ple as the sub­ject of the image would like, but once a per­son re­ceives such an image, it is against the law to share that image with some­one else.

It’s al­ready a crim­i­nal act to share those im­ages – with penal­ties up to five years in prison un­der fed­eral law. The new leg­is­la­tion pro­vides the use of civil law­suits to pe­nal­ize any­one shar­ing the im­ages without con­sent.

Jus­tice Min­is­ter An­drew Par­sons in­tro­duced the leg­is­la­tion in May, but it’s only now that the leg­is­la­tion is mak­ing its way through the House of As­sem­bly.

“Once it’s done, you can’t take back that pain,” said Par­sons.

“I’d like these mea­sures to be seen as a de­ter­rent, for peo­ple to maybe think twice be­fore they do this.”

Un­der the Crim­i­nal Code, there have been six con­vic­tions in this prov­ince so far this year. It’s hard to say how com­mon civil law­suits will be once the law comes into ef­fect, once the bill makes it through the leg­is­la­ture.

The con­se­quences for send­ing an in­ti­mate image without con­sent are fairly broad. The court can award any dam­ages it sees fit to the vic­tim, any money made from the image can be awarded to the vic­tim, any in­junc­tion the court sees fit can be is­sued, and the court can “make any other or­der that the court con­sid­ers just and rea­son­able in the cir­cum­stances.”

Any ac­tion in crim­i­nal court does not have an im­pact on a civil case, and vice versa.

In civil court, the onus is on the per­son ac­cused of shar­ing the image to prove they had per­mis­sion to share the image.

“The bur­den of proof is dif­fer­ent in civil cases. It’s dif­fi­cult. Imag­ine go­ing through this and now hav­ing to prove that you didn’t give con­sent,” Par­sons said.

“I think the neg­a­tive ac­tion is on the per­son that shares it. If you want to do this, the bur­den is on you. The easy way to avoid it is, don’t do it. Don’t be stupid.”

Linda Ross, pres­i­dent of the Pro­vin­cial Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on the Sta­tus of Women, says, “The fact that the bur­den of proof is on the per­son who’s shar­ing the im­ages, I think, is rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent than any­thing we’re ac­cus­tomed to see­ing.

“That in and of it­self should give peo­ple pause for thought.”

Once the law passes, Par­sons says, the next step is the school dis­tricts ed­u­cat­ing young peo­ple about the con­se­quences of shar­ing in­ti­mate im­ages without con­sent.

“I think the neg­a­tive ac­tion is on the per­son that shares it. If you want to do this, the bur­den is on you. The easy way to avoid it is, don’t do it. Don’t be stupid.”

Jus­tics Min­is­ter An­drew Par­sons

DAVID MA­HER / THE TELE­GRAM

Linda Ross, pres­i­dent of the Pro­vin­cial Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on the Sta­tus of Women.

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