The government proclaimed new legislation on July 5, intending to help protect victims of cyber-bullying and non-consensual sharing of intimate images.
The Intimate Images and Cyber-Protection Act helps Nova Scotians access supports and pursue alternatives to criminal prosecution.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mark Furey says the legislation strikes the right balance between freedom of expression and public safety.
"While smart technology and social media have enhanced our ability to connect with others, they've also increased the reach and impacts of bullying," he says in a press release.
Under this law, victims and parents are able to request removal of online content, prohibit further contact and seek compensation. As well they will be able to participate in restorative approaches to resolve disputes and get protection orders for alleged offenders to stop the activity.
The act was passed October 5, 2017 and was developed with the help of lawyers, police, Victims' Services, Status of Women and more.
Nova Scotia is the first province in the country to adopt such broad legislation.
"It is heartening to see our province, with this legislation, leading the way in doing this," says expert in adolescent mental health Dr. Stan Kutcher.
The province says it will review the legislation in three years to ensure it is effective addressing cyberbullying.
If you believe you are the victim of cyberbullying or that an intimate image of you was shared without your consent, call CyberScan at 902-424-6990 or toll-free at 855-702-8324.