News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 18, 2016

PROVINCE ANNOUNCES NEW LAW IN FORCE HELPS VICTIMS OF REVENGE PORN, UNWANTED DISTRIBUTION OF SEXUAL PICTURES


Help With Removing Images From Public Display; Victims Can Sue For Financial Damages: Minister Mackintosh

A nation-leading approach that helps Manitobans whose intimate pictures are distributed without their permission or are victims of ‘revenge porn’ is now in place to deal with this increasingly prevalent and harmful activity, Attorney General Gord Mackintosh announced as the Intimate Image Protection Act came into effect today.

“Manitoba is a leader in helping victims reclaim their intimate images, restoring their privacy and providing support along the way,” said Minister Mackintosh.  “This is the first provincial legislation of in the country to deal with revenge porn and non-consensual distribution of sexual pictures.  It also complements our broader investments to meet the needs of victims and reduce the damage caused by online victimization.”

The minister noted the first contact for Manitobans dealing with this issue is the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P).  Through its Cybertip.ca program, C3P will offer help to Manitobans who are victims of non-consensual distribution of sexual pictures including information or assistance in:

  • removing intimate images from social media or other locations;
  • contacting individuals who released the intimate image, or their parents, to remove and delete all images; or
  • engaging police, where appropriate.

“The sharing of intimate images is a growing issue that can result in major social fallout if action is not taken quickly to stop distribution,” said Lianna McDonald, executive director, Canadian Centre for Child Protection.  “This new law provides people with a much needed mechanism for addressing the removal of intimate images from the Internet that can significantly affect an individual’s emotional well-being.  Providing Manitobans with access to support services, educational tools and resources is critical in helping them take control and get their life back and we applaud this new law coming into force.”

The new act applies when someone with an intimate image of another person distributes, or threatens to distribute it, without that person’s consent.  The person in the picture would have to be identifiable and nude, or engaged in sexual activity, and have had a reasonable expectation of privacy at the time it was created. 

The act can also apply in situations where other people obtain or receive intimate images of another person and distribute them without consent, digitally or in any other format. 

Under the act, victims can now sue in civil court to hold a person accountable financially for distributing sexual pictures without consent.  The court may order prohibiting the publication of the name of any party to the lawsuit or other information that might identify the victim.  A lawsuit may result in an order for the payment of damages, the payment of any profits made from the distribution and other orders the court considers appropriate including an injunction to stop further victimization.

Since March 2015, C3P has received nearly 350 reports of non-consensual distribution of intimate images from across the country.  Nearly half involved a child between the ages of 15 and 17.

The minister said Manitobans of any age who have been a victim of non-consensual distribution of intimate images, or are being threatened by with this activity, are encouraged to contact the Canadian Centre for Child Protection at www.cybertip.ca to learn more about available resources.

- 30 -