In Canada, publication of intimate images without consent is a crime. Shameless Circle is committed to raising awareness regarding this issue. Watch our new PSA - share, let people know - if this has happened to them, its not their fault.
'A recent study of 606 high school students at a single private school, representing nearly the entire student body, found that nearly 20% sent a sexually explicit image of themselves, and that 25% indicated that they had forwarded such an image to others.' -Strassberg DS et al, "Sexting by high school students: an exploratory and descriptive study," Archives of Sexual Behavior 42(1) (2013): 15-21.
There is an unseen epidemic which plagues so many people in our lives. Illegal distribution of intimate images can occur when a relationship breaks down, and one of the former partners distributes or provides intimate images of their partners to the public to cause harm to their ex-partner. This can have devastating, humiliating, harassing and degrading effects.
'Young people are increasingly consensually exchanging intimate images, which may later become fodder for humiliating cyberbullying attacks, with these images spreading quickly and often uncontrollably.' -Justice Department, Government of Canada
In 2018 alone, 555 cases of illegal distribution of intimate images were opened in Canada. According to the Justice Department of Canada, it is estimated that 1 in 10 ex partners between the ages of 18-54 have threatened to release intimate images of their partners on the internet, with 60% of these threats being carried out.
R v McFarlane, 2018 MBCA 48 (CanLII), per Mainella JA, at para 21 ("The starting point where the victim is an adult is two years’ imprisonment, even for a first offender. This approach is more consistent with sentences for sexual assault cases and serious extortion cases."
There are resources for victims and perpetrators alike.
Have you been the victim or perpetrator of this offence? Explore below for some helpful resources:
Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) or www.kidshelpphone.ca. This service offers free, anonymous, confidential, and non-judgmental counselling by phone or web, 24 hours a day,
7 days a week. For ages 20 and under.
If the situation you’re dealing with involves things
like threats, intimidation, or blackmail online, you can report it to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection at www.cybertip.ca.
Want to know more about this crime? Explore these links below for information:
N.Z., Memorandum to Cabinet presented to the Social Policy Committee, "Harmful Digital Communication" (March 21, 2013). online:(http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/h/harmful-digital-communications-cabinet-social-policy-committee-paper (last accessed May 23, 2013).
Protecting Canadians From Online Crime Act
A huge thanks to Sugar Cube Entertainment for helping us with this video. We are grateful for support from Mama Bear Clan, Winnipeg Jets, Project 11, Inspire Community Outreach, Sarah Guillemard, MLA running for Fort Richmond, Remedy at Prohibition, Delia Joseph, Chantal Lacoste and Erik Light.
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