Information for Youth
Sending intimate images* might seem harmless but doing so can have long-term consequences.
Photographs that you send of yourself can easily be sent beyond the person you intended to send them to. Anywhere you can post a picture of yourself, someone else can post a photograph of you without your permission.
They can be shared:
Those who could see the images:
Even if the photographs are removed from social media, many people might see them before they are taken down. A person does not have to share the pictures to cause you harm. They could use the pictures to threaten to embarrass you or to bully you into sending more intimate images.
It can be hard to say no to requests for photographs, especially if these requests come from someone you like or admire. But once you send the pictures, you have no control over what happens to them or how they are used. Even if the person you trust does not forward the pictures, if their phone winds up in the wrong hands your images could still be shared or used to threaten you.
Some ways you might be approached for intimate pictures:
- Someone casts a wide net asking a large number of females to send pictures of themselves.
- Someone you are in an intimate or trusting relationship with asks for pictures.
- Someone you do not know or have only met online asks for pictures.
Take the decision-making out of the process by having the "It's a No." image available to send to anyone who asks for intimate images of you.
What To Do
If you receive a request for a
1. Send the 'It's a NO' image
If the requests become repeated or harassing in nature:
1. Document the request
What If you have already sent an intimate photograph?
Do not panic. Yes, these pictures can have long-term consequences but there is still a good chance someone can help you.
1. Make a list of everyone you sent the image to
2. Make a list of anyone who says they saw the photograph
3. Talk to an adult who can help you: A police officer, school administrator, or other adult you feel
What If you have received an unwanted photograph?
1. Respond immediately with the ‘It’s a NO’ image
2. Do not forward the image to anyone else
3. Tell an adult you trust right away and get direction on what to do from there
It is never acceptable to pressure anyone to send intimate images of themselves. Having or requesting intimate pictures of a minor is illegal and if you are found to be in possession of such images or have shared them, you could face potential charges including the possession and distribution of intimate images of children under the age of 18 years old (Criminal Code of Canada). You could also face consequences from your school district, including an automatic suspension and a board of review with the district to determine your future in the Abbotsford School District.