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B.C. looks to combat 'revenge porn,' calls for new ways to have it destroyed

Youth reporting incidents of non-consensual disclosure of intimate images has increase 94 per cent since the start of 2021.
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Non-consensual sharing of images can be a form of intimate partner violence or be used to extort victims for additional images, sex or money, says B.C.'s parliamentary secretary for gender equality.

Following a dramatic rise in people reporting non-consensual disclosure of intimate images — also known as revenge porn — the Government of British Columbia is calling for new legislation.

Reports of people sharing intimate images without consent have increased 58 per cent by the start of 2021, compared to a nine-month period in 2020, according to Cybertip.ca.

Even more alarming, Cybertip.ca says this included a 94 per cent increase in youth reporting.

"Without consent, circulating or threatening to distribute an intimate image is a form of sexual violence with traumatic and lasting impacts," says Grace Lore, parliamentary secretary for gender equity, in a statement.

Lore is leading the consultation on behalf of David Eby, the province's attorney general. 

Under Canada’s Criminal Code, the publication of intimate images without consent is an offence.

Lore says provincial legislation could provide additional tools for people to protect themselves and seek recourse.

"The non-consensual sharing of images can be a form of intimate partner violence or be used to extort victims for additional images, sex or money,” she explains. “We believe a comprehensive B.C. approach can make a real difference for people to achieve results faster and get better access to justice." 

Lore wants people to have the ability and tools to take down posted images and have them destroyed. 

“It could also create a new process for people to claim compensation from wrongdoers,” she says.

Consultations between the province and stakeholders are ongoing until June 2021. People are being asked to submit their opinions to imageprivacy@gov.bc.ca.