10/31/2017 12:36 EDT | Updated 10/31/2017 12:41 EDT

Saskatchewan proposes lawsuits should be allowed if intimate images shared

REGINA — Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan has introduced a bill that proposes people should be allowed to sue for compensation if their intimate images have been shared without their permission.

A victim would be able to sue in small-claims court and would not have to wait for criminal charges to be laid.

The proposed legislation also would shift the onus of proof to the person that circulated the image by requiring them to show that they had received consent.

The government says it has proven difficult to rely on the Criminal Code to deter cyberbullying through unauthorized sharing of intimate images because the burden of proof is so high.

Morgan says the proposed law sends a strong message that such criminal behaviour has consequences.

Shannon Lea of the No Touchy Campaign in Saskatchewan says it could force someone to think twice about trying to exact revenge on the internet.

The No Touchy Campaign aims to raise public awareness of the extent of sexual assault in Canada.