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Legal Considerations

Non-Consensual Disclosure of Intimate Images

Non-Consensual Disclosure of Intimate Images as a Crime of Gender-Based ViolenceFull Article Name: Non-Consensual Disclosure of Intimate Images as a Crime of Gender-Based Violence

Open Access: No

Abstract

Bill C-13 introduced new Criminal Code provisions prohibiting the publication of intimate images without the consent of the person depicted. Women and girls are overwhelmingly the victims of this behaviour, which is premised upon their objectification. This article analyzes this crime as a form of gender-based violence and considers, based on the legislation and the limited case law, whether, and to what extent, judges may ignore the gendered context of the crime or blame women for their own victimization. The over-emphasis on victims’ privacy expectations in the legislative provisions has resulted in judges conceiving of this crime in early cases primarily as a violation of privacy rather than as a crime of sexualized gender-based violence. Judges in future cases must not lose sight of the gendered nature of this crime and its harms and should adopt a dignity-based approach to privacy to ensure women do not easily lose the ability to control the dissemination of their intimate images.

    Citation

    Aikenhead, M. (2018). Non-consensual disclosure of intimate images as a crime of gender-based violence. Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 30, 117–143. https://doi.org/10.3138/cjwl.30.1.117