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Wildrose MLA introduces bill to protect cyberbullying victims

A Wildrose MLA has put forward a private member’s bill meant to give people who have had their intimate photos shared more power to go after perpetrators.

Bill 202, the Protecting Victims of Non-Consensual Distribution of Intimate Images Act, would create the provincial tort law necessary to pursue damages and file a lawsuit over the distribution of intimate images. It would also create protections for students who have fallen victim to having their intimate images shared or put online.

Wildrose Bonnyville-Cold Lake MLA Cyr says the bill seeks to empower victims and tackle the growth of cyber bullying among youth and adults across Alberta.

“The sharing of an intimate image without consent can have a devastating impact on a victim, leading them to feel betrayed and violated,” Cyr says. “This legislation, if passed, would raise awareness about this issue, and remove barriers to seeking damages for victims.”

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The bill would give more power to schools as well in these situations if approved. It includes a process that would allow the principal to issue a suspension for sending the pictures out or give the school board the ability to give further punishment.

Cyr says this bill would be a positive step forward for parents worried about cyberbullying and protecting their kids.

“Students shouldn’t have to see the person who turned their lives upside down every day when they show up at school,” Cyr says. “Empowering principals and school boards to suspend or punish a student after intimate images have been shared will serve as both a deterrent and a tool to ensure young victims of these crimes are protected.”

Written by Chris Hunter, Country 99 Bonnyville

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