Revenge porn is sexual violence

Statement by Sexual Health Nova Scotia about the Pictou County revenge porn website

The recent discovery that a revenge porn website has targeted multiple women in Pictou County is cause for grave concern. 

"Revenge porn" is a common term for posting intimate images of a former partner online without their consent. Like all sexual acts that happen without consent, revenge porn is a form of sexual violence. 

Sexual Health Nova Scotia strongly condemns revenge porn and stands in support of those who have been targeted. 

Taking and sharing intimate photographs is part of many people's normal, healthy sexual lives. No one should be shamed or embarrassed for taking such pictures. 

Nor does taking such pictures imply consent to share them freely. Simply because someone shares intimate photos with certain individuals does not mean they have consented to share those photos with everyone. Victims of revenge porn are not at fault for expecting partners to respect their privacy and consent.

Sexual violence is not only a problem that affects the individuals involved. It is a public health issue. All Nova Scotians deserve to experience healthy sexuality free from fear of coercion or exploitation.

Nova Scotians should be aware that distributing intimate or sexually explicit images of another person without their consent is a criminal offence in Canada. This is true regardless of the age or gender of those involved.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of revenge porn, please consider contacting the RCMP or your local sexual health centre or women's centre. Visit our member-centre page to find a sexual health centre near you, or www.womenconnect.ca to find a women's centre. Residents of HRM can also contact Avalon Sexual Assault Centre at www.avaloncentre.ca.

If you or someone you know has perpetrated or consumed revenge porn, please understand that this is not harmless behaviour. It is unlawful and violates the consent, dignity, and rights of others. You can help by refraining from viewing or distributing revenge porn and reporting it to the RCMP when you see or hear of it.

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For interviews or comment:

Conor Falvey, Provincial Coordinator, Sexual Health Nova Scotia

902-880-0492

provincialcoordinator@shns.ca