Review of Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act Complete
The Province is accepting all recommendations included in the review of its cyberbullying legislation.
The review found that the Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act is achieving its goals of protecting citizens from cyberbullying and the non-consensual sharing of intimate images, while striking the appropriate balance with freedom of expression. However, it also identified the need to improve the complaint process for victims and raise public awareness of the legislation.
“We have a responsibility to keep people safe online, so it was important to review the legislation to make sure that it continues to remain effective and responsive to the needs of victims and their families,” said Justice Minister and Attorney General Brad Johns. “The feedback we received has been valuable in helping us see where we can improve our services and supports.”
The review’s 12 recommendations include:
- improving legal, mental health and crisis supports for victims
- creating a centralized, trauma-informed referral process for victims seeking advice and support
- improving training for CyberScan staff, who help victims understand their options and navigate the justice system.
The Department will develop a plan to implement each of the recommendations.
The review report is available at: https://novascotia.ca/intimate-images-and-cyber-protection-act-survey/
- the Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act was enacted in July 2018, replacing the Cyber-safety Act, the country’s first cyberbullying act, passed in 2013
- the review of the act, required in the legislation, launched earlier this year with public consultations in January and February; more than 460 people engaged in the consultations, which included 11 small group sessions, eight individual meetings and an online public survey
- the engagement sessions included Indigenous, Acadian/francophone and African Nova Scotian community members, representatives of law enforcement agencies, youth, people with disabilities, educators, victims, and legal and academic professionals
- between July 2018 and March 2022, CyberScan staff opened 703 cases in Nova Scotia, giving advice and support to victims, assisting agencies and organizations, and providing support through mediation
- CyberScan staff have made more than 500 cyber-safety presentations in schools and communities, reaching more than 16,000 youth and adults
The Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act: https://nslegislature.ca/sites/default/files/legc/statutes/intimate%20images%20and%20cyber-protection.pdf
More information on cyberbullying and the non-consensual sharing of intimate images and the supports available to victims is at: https://novascotia.ca/cyberscan/
Anyone who believes they are the victim of cyberbullying or that an intimate image was shared without consent can call CyberScan at 902-424-6990 or toll-free at 855-702-8324
For immediate mental health crisis support, victims can call the Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Line at 1-888-429-8167, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week