Charlottetown, PE – Intimacy is an important aspect of healthy relationships. Privacy and the expectation of privacy of individuals involved in a consensual, intimate relationship should be protected. When this privacy is violated, there can be far-reaching repercussions that are lasting and damaging in many different ways. For those harmed, there must be a remedy.
Since the non-consensual distribution of intimate images became a criminal offence in 2015, Prince Edward Island has reported more incidents per 100,000 people than the national average. In 2018, the province had the highest incident rate in the Atlantic region. It is clear the sharing of intimate images without consent is a growing problem in our communities.
Karla Bernard, MLA for Charlottetown-Victoria Park and Official Opposition Critic for Education and Lifelong Learning, is proposing legislation that would provide an additional legal remedy for those who have been hurt by the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.
The proposed legislation would:
- establish the non-consensual distribution of intimate images as a tort, actionable without proof of damages;
- place a reverse onus on the defendant to demonstrate that they had the consent of the person depicted in the images to distribute those images;
- establish a publication ban where a minor is involved in a proceeding, and a publication ban in other cases where the court determines it would be in the interest of justice; and
- allow the court to provide various remedies, including financial awards and injunctions.
The Office of the Official Opposition is seeking public feedback on this proposed legislation. Islanders are invited to review the proposed legislation at https://peigreencaucus.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Official-Opposition-Intimate-Images-Protection-Act-Consultation-Draft.pdf.
Public feedback can be submitted online by email to [email protected]. Submissions will be accepted until 4:00 PM on Friday, June 19, 2020.