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Having intimate photos taken, then shared can take a heavy emotional toll, says RCMP

RCMP on Vancouver Island are urging you to think twice before you have pictures and videos taken of yourself.

Campbell River RCMP Const. Maury Tyre says police are seeing people of all ages falling victim. 

“The topic has been broached before in the media and oftentimes the warnings go to teenagers, but the reality is, that anyone can end up being victimized if they allow themselves to have videos or pictures taken when they engage in intimate acts or when they take and send intimate images of themselves,” Tyre said. 

“More and more, the people who are victimized are actually middle aged.”

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The RCMP says you should consider that:

  • If you take, create, send or share intimate content consider it shared with the world (it’s just so easy to share digital media);
  • Close to 50 percent of committed relationships/marriages fail;
  • Most internet hosting sites for intimate images are run out of foreign nations where there is no jurisdictional power for Canadian Law Enforcement to remove your images;
  • Even if the images and videos may have been removed from a host site, they may have already been shared with other sites.

If you share images without permission and do not have expressed consent from the person whose intimate image or video you are sharing, you are committing a crime.

Section 162.1(1) of the Criminal Code, distribution of an intimate image without consent, can actually see penalties up to five years in jail and can also see the accused end up paying financial restitution as well.

Things get worse if you are creating, sending, or sharing images of someone under the age of 18. 

It’s creating and distributing Child Pornography and can see punishment up to 14 years in jail. 

“Really, in the great scheme of things, if you value your personal privacy in any way, it’s just not worth letting intimate images or videos be created of yourself,” said Cst Maury Tyre. 

“We recognize the level of social acceptance that creating such images has gained, but once they’re made, they are just far, far too easy to lose control of.”

If you wish to report a crime or suspicious occurrence, please contact the Campbell River RCMP at 250-286-6221 or in an emergency call 911.

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