Reporting

Intimate Images

How to talk to your teens about sharing and receiving nudes

While it’s important to openly discuss the risks of sending sexual images (nudes) with your teen, it’s also critical to address both the sharing and receiving of sexts.

  • Even though this is the first generation of youth who can instantaneously communicate worldwide and use devices to share pictures online, parents still need to prepare children with skills and knowledge to help navigate this online world. Here are some tips to get the conversation started:

    • Come with an attitude of curiosity and interest to understand the social pressures your teen is facing and listen to what they think this generation of teens have to consider online.
    • Avoid becoming emotionally charged to try to keep the conversation open. Think about how you discussed bike safety when they were younger — matter of fact and calm.
    • Conversations need to be ongoing. Remember, you probably needed to remind them more than once to wear their bike helmet.
    • Remind your teen that you are in their corner both to cheer them on and to help them when times are tough.
    • Reassure your teen that if they ever feel in over their head, aren’t sure what to do with a situation they are facing, or have friends who may need some help, they can ALWAYS come to you. This isn’t to say there aren’t consequences for actions, but it is important to remind your teen that you will always stand by them and will get through anything together.
  • Facts for Youth:
    • If you take a nude and send it to someone, even if you trust that person, there is huge risk the picture could be shared with others without you knowing.
    • Once it has been shared beyond where you intended, it can be stored on others’ devices, and where it goes from there is out of your control.
    • The fallout from sharing nudes can be really harmful emotionally, socially, and psychologically.
    Tips for Youth:
    • Be really careful about what pictures you choose to share of yourself.
    • Make nudes off limits — draw the line — no nudes
    • If someone asks or is pressuring you to send nudes, even after you didn’t respond or said no — then they are trying to control you. This is not okay.
    • If someone is pressuring you to send nudes, they are probably pressuring someone else, too. Talk to an adult who can help.
    • If you or someone you know makes a mistake, you can go to adults for help. Determine who those adults are in your life.
    • You can go to needhelpnow.ca for information and for help with gaining back control of an image or video.
  • Facts for Youth:
    • If you receive a nude on your phone and keep it then you are storing it on your device. Storing nudes of someone under 18 years old can have serious legal consequences.
    • Sharing nudes of someone else under 18 years old may be considered illegal. For general information about Canadian laws that intersect with this visit needhelpnow.ca.
    • If your device belongs to your parents (the contract is under their name), then the nudes are being stored on or sent from their device. This could have implications for your parents.
    • Sharing nudes of someone else can have harmful emotional, social, and psychological impacts on the youth who is in the picture, as well as on others. Sharing causes harm.
    Tips for Youth:
    • Don’t ask for nudes. Understand that pressuring someone else for nudes is coercion. This is controlling behaviour.
    • Nudes sent under pressure are not considered to be consensual. This is harmful and may be illegal.
    • If you receive a nude, delete it. Do not share someone’s nudes.
    • If you know someone’s nudes are being shared, or you make a mistake and share someone’s nudes, talk to an adult who can help.

If your teen has lost control over an intimate image/video contact Cybertip.ca.

Your nude is online. Now what?

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 toll-free at 1-866-658-9022.

    • I want to get the picture off the internet.

      If the picture is online, you can also take action to have it removed yourself. We created needhelpnow.ca to walk you through steps that can be taken to get pictures off the internet.

    • 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 toll-free at 1-866-658-9022.
    • 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 toll-free at 1-866-658-9022 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.

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.


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, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut do not currently have any additional legislation in place.

  • AB
  • SK
  • MB
  • NL
  • NS

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:
    • get assistance to have your intimate images removed from specific sites if they were posted online;
    • some other options that may be available: Tort Option, applying for a recognizance (peace bond), and obtaining a Warrant of Seizure
  • 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 and respond to victims of the non-consensual distribution of an intimate image. For more information contact Cybertip.ca here or call 1-866-658-9022.

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:

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: