Reporting

Intimate Images

Is There a Sexual Image of You Online and You Don’t Know What to do?

If you are under 18 and someone is sharing a nude () of you, there ARE steps you can take. We can help.

    • I want to report to Cybertip.ca.

      Go to the Cybertip.ca report form and click the bottom left box to begin.

    • I want to talk to someone on the phone.

      Cybertip.ca can help provide you with more information about how to regain control of a picture and/or the resources that may be available to help. Call us at 1 (204) 560-2101.

    • I want to get the picture off the internet.

    • Project Arachnid

      Learn more about how the Canadian Centre is using technology to reduce the availability of CSAM and to combat the cycle of abuse for survivors through Project Arachnid.

    • If you do not know if your picture is online or being shared and you are worried that it might happen, or if you know it is being shared and you want it to stop, you might want to send a message to the person who has your picture/video saying something like:

      “I do not consent to you having the picture/video of me [add description, such as, ‘that I sent you on (DATE)’], I want you to delete it and I do not give you permission to share it with anyone.”

      Sending a message like this is important because once the person knows how you feel they can no longer say they didn’t know your views. You can send a text or email, tell the person by phone or in person, or have someone else communicate the message. The best way to send a message, however, is in writing so you will have a copy of what was sent.

    • If you are scared that a nude of you will be shared by someone, you can apply for something called a prevention order (i.e., an order from a court that names a specific person and tells them not to share or post an existing intimate image). Involving a safe adult to help you would probably be a good idea if you want to go down this path.
    • You can also report your concern to us through our Cybertip.ca report form or to local police. If you decide to enter a report at Cybertip.ca, once it has been processed, all information connected to it may be forwarded to law enforcement and/or child welfare for review and investigation.
  • If you have shared an intimate image/video and are now being threatened, blackmailed, etc., the situation has likely gone too far. We strongly suggest you immediately do at least one of the following:

    • Report your concern to Cybertip.ca or to police in your area. You can also contact Cybertip.ca for help by calling us at 1 (204) 560-2101.
    • Tell your parents or guardians about what is happening so they can immediately help you with the situation.
    • If you can’t talk to your parents or guardians, tell a safe adult (e.g., teacher, counsellor, relative) about what is going on so they can help you address the situation.
  • If your situation involves an adult who has or is sharing your intimate image/video, you should immediately report your situation to local police or Cybertip.ca.

    • Needhelpnow.ca is designed to provide youth (13 to 17 years old) with practical steps to regain control over the situation. This includes information about contacting websites/online services to request a picture/video be removed, dealing with peers who may have seen or are sharing the content, the importance of emotional support, and information on certain criminal offences.
    • You can contact Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868), an anonymous and confidential counselling service.
    • You can find a counsellor either at school or by searching online for drop-in services in your community.
    • If you are a Canadian, you can call us at 1 (204) 560-2101 if you need help finding the proper support services in your area.
    • Our Resource Guide for Families is available to assist families when responding to self/peer exploitation incidents.
  • Canada has a law to help deal with the non-consensual distribution of an intimate image. It is illegal for a person to distribute an of another person without that person’s consent.

    If someone has an intimate image/video of you that was created in private circumstances, and that person knowingly posts it online or shares it with someone else knowing that you would not consent to (or being reckless about whether you would consent to it), the person could be charged. Given the serious nature of criminal charges, police will need to verify that the person in the picture/video is you — you may need to provide any messages you sent or received about the picture/video, or other details about it, such as identifying features.

    Certain provinces have additional legislation in place that would allow you to bring a civil action in court against the person(s) who distributed your intimate image without your consent. See “Additional Legislation in Certain Provinces” below for more information.

  • Cybertip.ca deals with online sexual victimization involving individuals under 18 years of age. However, it is important to note that the non-consensual distribution of an intimate image offence also applies to adults. If you are an adult concerned about an intimate image being shared without your consent, learn more about the steps you can take.

    Note: While posting a recording online or sharing it by phone are likely the most common ways this offence will take place, the offence also includes selling the image, advertising the image, or making it available such as posting a link to the image.


Additional Legislation in Certain Provinces

The following provinces have their own additional legislation in place to complement the existing criminal law related to the offence of . If you are affected by someone having and/or sharing your sexual () image, click on your province on the map below for more information. Note that British Columbia, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut do not currently have any additional legislation in place.

  • AB
  • SK
  • MB
  • NL
  • NS
  • PE

Alberta

Protecting Victims of Non-Consensual Distribution of Intimate Images Act

  • What you can do:
    • Civil options where the court may:
      • award damages to you;
      • order the defendant to account to you any profits they received as a result of the non-consensual distribution of your intimate image;
      • issue an injunction based on what the court determines is appropriate;
      • make any other order that the court determines is just and reasonable
  • Important things to know:
    • You do not need proof of damage to start an action under this Act.
    • If the person distributing your image is a child, his/her parent cannot be held liable for any damages awarded to you unless the court is satisfied that the parent was a direct participant in the non-consensual distribution of your intimate image.
    • The court may make an order prohibiting the publication of the name of any person tied to the action (including you) or any information that might identify a person if the court considers it to be in the best interest to do so.
  • Who to contact for more information about this Act:

Manitoba

The Intimate Image Protection Act

  • What you can do:
    • You may bring an action for the non-consensual distribution of an intimate image if a person has distributed an intimate image of you knowing that you did not consent to the distribution, or that person was reckless as to whether or not you consented to the distribution;
    • The following are remedies that the court may order:
      1. award damages to you;
      2. order the defendant (the person who distributed the image) to account to you for any profits he/she received as a result of the distribution of your intimate image;
      3. issue an injunction (an order that restrains the person from beginning or continuing to do something, like distribute the image) based on what the court determines is appropriate;
      4. make any other order that the court determines is just and reasonable.
  • Important things to know:
    • You do not need proof of damage to start an action under this Act.
    • Under the Act, the court may make an order prohibiting the publication of the name of any person tied to the action (including you) or any information likely to identify such person if the court considers it to be in the interests of justice.
    • The Act states that if you have had your intimate image distributed without your consent or if you believe that your intimate image is about to be distributed without your consent, the government must make appropriate information and resources available to you if you request them. Supports may include:
      • providing information or assistance to enable you to have your intimate images returned, destroyed, deleted or removed from the internet or any other place where your images may be viewed by other people;
      • providing information or assistance that may facilitate the resolution of a dispute with a person who may be in possession of your intimate image or who may have distributed your intimate image, including information about mediation or dispute resolution where appropriate;
      • providing information about legal remedies and protections available to you.
  • Who to contact for more information about this Act:
    • The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, through Cybertip.ca, was named the designated agency to receive reports and respond to victims whose intimate images were distributed without their consent. For more information or assistance, contact Cybertip.ca online or by calling 1 (204) 560-2101.
    • Connect with a lawyer. The Community Legal Education Association (CLEA) operates a Law Phone-In and Lawyer Referral Program that can be reached by calling (204) 943-2305 or 1-800-262-8800 (outside Winnipeg).
    • Attend your local court house and ask the clerk to provide you with information regarding your options.
    • The Government of Manitoba’s Victim Services

Newfoundland & Labrador

Intimate Images Protection Act

  • What you can do:
    • Civil options where the court may:
      1. award damages to you;
      2. if the person has profited from distributing your intimate image without your consent, he/she can be made to account to you for any profits and the court may make an order in your favour with respect to recovering those profits from the person;
      3. issue an injunction based on what the court determines is appropriate;
      4. make any other order that the court determines is just and reasonable
  • Important things to know:
    • You do not need proof of damage to start an action under this Act.
    • Reverse onus — where an action is commenced, the court will as a starting point, presume that the image was distributed without consent, it is up to the defendant to establish that he/she had reasonable grounds to believe that he/she had ongoing consent for distribution of the intimate image.
    • The court may make an order prohibiting the publication of the name of any person tied to the action (including you) or any information that might identify a person if the court considers it to be in the best interest to do so. Until the court decides whether to issue such an order, no person shall publish or make public the names of the persons tied to the action or any information that might identify those people. If a person involved in the action is under the age of 19, their name or any information that might identify them will not be published or made public, even after that person reaches the age of majority (19).
  • Who to contact for more information about this Act:
    • Attend your local court house and ask the clerk to provide you with information regarding your options.
    • The Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (PLIAN) has a Lawyer Referral Service that may be able to assist you with finding a lawyer where you live.

Nova Scotia

Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act

  • What you can do:
    • Civil options where the court may:
      1. make an order prohibiting the person from distributing the intimate image;
      2. make an order prohibiting the person from contacting you or another person in the future;
      3. make an order requiring the person to take down or disable access to the intimate image;
      4. make an order referring the matter to dispute-resolution services;
      5. make an order requiring the person to provide you with any information in their possession that may help you identify a person who may have used various forms of electronic communication to distribute an intimate image without consent;
      6. award damages to you;
      7. make an order for the person to account for any profits he/she received;
      8. make any other order that the court determines is just and reasonable
  • Important things to know:
    • If you are under the age of 19, your parent or guardian may apply to the court instead of you.
    • If a person involved is under the age of 19, their name or any information that might identify who they are will not be published or broadcasted, even after they reach the age of majority, and they will instead be identified by a pseudonym.
    • If the applicant is an adult and makes the request to the court, their name or any information that might identify who they are will not be published or broadcasted and they will instead be identified by a pseudonym.
    • In your application, you have to identify the person who is distributing your intimate image by name. If you do not know their name, you can identify the Internet Protocol address (IP address), website, username or account, email address or other unique identifier used for distributing your intimate image.
    • A person who violates an order made by the court under this Act — other than an order for payment of damages or an order for accounting of profits — is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine up to $5000 and/or imprisonment up to 6 months.
  • Who to contact for more information about this Act:

Prince Edward Island

Intimate Images Protection Act

  • What you can do:
    • A person depicted in an intimate image may claim relief from the court for damages
    • The following are remedies the court may undertake if your image has been distributed:
      • order the person who distributed the image pay nominal damages to you;
      • declare the distribution to be unlawful;
      • order the person who distributed the image to make every reasonable effort to make the images inaccessible, including by:
        • destroying all copies of the images in the respondents possession or control,
        • having the image removed from any platform operated by an internet intermediary (social media cite, website etc.),
        • having the image de-indexed from any search engine;
      • order an internet intermediary (like a internet service provider or a social media platform) to make every reasonable effort to remove or de-index the image;
      • make any other order that the court determines is just and reasonable.
    • The following are remedies the court may undertake if a threat is made to distribute your intimate image:
      • Declare the threat to have been unlawful
      • Instruct the individual who made the threat not to distribute the image
      • Order the individual who made the threat to make every reasonable effort to make the intimate images inaccessible to others, including by destroying all copies of the intimate image(s) in their possession of control
      • Order the individual who made the threat to pay nominal damages to you
      • Make any other order the court considers just and reasonable
  • Important things to know:
    • Under this act, a person who distributes or threatens to distribute intimate images commits a tort that is actionable without proof of damage;
    • Your consent is revocable. If you consented to the distribution of an intimate image and you later revoke that consent, and you communicate the revocation to a person who distributed it, that person must make every reasonable effort to make the image inaccessible to others, including by:
      • Destroying all copies of the intimate images(s) in their possession or control;
      • Having them removed from any platform operated by an internet intermediary; and
      • Having the image de-indexed from any search engine.
    • Note that a person who does not make every reasonable effort to make the intimate image(s) inaccessible per the above is liable for damages for any injury resulting from their failure to do so
    • You cannot bring an application or claim against an internet intermediary if they have taken reasonable steps to address unlawful distribution generally on their services;
    • There are defences available under this Act. Specifically:
      • A person is not liable for damages if the person can prove that the distribution of the intimate image was made in any of the following circumstances:
        • the person did not intend to distribute the image;
        • the person had (or honestly and reasonably believed that the person had) the consent of the individual depicted in the image to distribute it at the time of distribution and to the extent consented to;
        • the distribution was made in the public interest (distributed in good faith in: law enforcement, a legal proceeding, medical treatment/education, to report/investigate unlawful or unsolicited conduct, or to assist the individual depicted) and distribution did not extent beyond the public interest.
      • It also appears that if the person can prove that they had consent to distribute the images, the remedies normally available may not be.
    • Under the Act, the court may make an order prohibiting the publication of the name of any person tied to the action (including you) or any information that may identify such person if the court considers it to be in the interest of justice. Note: Where the intimate image is of a minor, the Act provides for an automatic publication ban that remains in effect even after the minor reaches the age of 18.
  • Who to contact for more information about this Act:
    • Connect with a lawyer. Community Legal Information is a registered charity that can help you understand the law and navigate the justice system. It operates a Lawyer Referral Service in collaboration with the Law Society of Prince Edward Island.
    • Attend your local court house and ask the clerk to provide you with information regarding your options.
    • The Government of Prince Edward Island’s Victim Services

Saskatchewan

The Privacy Act — Privacy of Intimate Images

  • What you can do:
    • Civil options (Tort) where the court may:
      1. award damages to you;
      2. if the person has profited from distributing your intimate image without your consent, he/she can be made to account to you for any profits and the court may make an order in your favour with respect to recovering those profits from the person;
      3. issue an injunction based on what the court determines is appropriate;
      4. make any other order that the court determines is just and reasonable
  • Important things to know:
    • You do not need proof of damage to start an action under this Act.
    • Reverse onus — where an action is commenced, the court will as a starting point, presume that the image was distributed without consent, it is up to the defendant to establish that he/she had reasonable grounds to believe that he/she had ongoing consent for distribution of the intimate image.
  • Who to contact for more information about this Act:

The above is general information and it is provided to help you understand the law better. It is not intended to include everything, and you should reference the actual legislation if you need to understand more about the law. It is NOT legal advice—consult a lawyer when needed. This is a recent law and it is not possible to predict how it will be interpreted and enforced by police and the courts.