Abstract- Non-consensual Dissemination of Intimate Images: Does Simple Awareness of the Law Matter?

In Canada, ever since the introduction of Bill C-13 in 2015, the publication of an intimate image of another person without consent is punishable by law and can lead to a sentence of up to five years in prison. In this work, we set out to examine if awareness of the law was related to lower rates of distributing or threatening to distribute another adult’s nude or sexual image without permission, or proclivity for such behaviors. To do so, we recruited 816 participants (73% female, 26% male), and found that 1 in 6 had distributed, or threatened to distribute the sexual image of another without consent and half of the sample endorsed proclivity for these behaviors. However, none of the chi-square tests between awareness of the law and revenge porn perpetration (distribute, threat, total) or proclivity for revenge porn were significant. In other words, simply knowing that this behavior was illegal was not enough to curb either perpetration or proclivity. Implications and future directions for educational material and awareness campaigns for revenge porn and technology-facilitated sexual violence are discussed.