When I was in high school I arrived one morning to find the word “Whore” written in permanent marker on my locker. I stood in front of my disgraced storage unit – and wondered “How the fuck has no one removed this before me seeing it? Not one other student, janitor or member of faculty has seen this before me? No one has done anything to have this removed?” So with red on my face, fire in my belly and tears in my eyes I marched down to the Principals office and told them; “someone wrote whore in permanent marker on my locker and I want it removed immediately.” By the time I was finished first period the profanity was gone – and not long after that I had moved on. Now, regardless of whether the word “whore” was written in haste, due to a rumour or was an act of slut shaming – it was undeserved. However, it was addressed in a way that I felt the situation had been corrected. I had somewhere to go, someone to report my problem to, and someone to make it better.
The very same situation continues to happen every day online – but the girls, teenagers, and women being treated unfairly are left to feel isolated, impacted on a much larger scale due to what can feel like an insurmountable situation, unfolding in front of an immeasurable audience size, who are likely viewing and partaking in judgement and aggrandizing themselves.
What I want all of these females to know is you are not alone, you have legal rights, and the Canadian legislation is protecting you
Bill C-13 part of the Canadian law states;
The distribution of intimate images (both photos and videos) without the consent of the person(s) shown in the images is now a crime in Canada. The legal term for this is, “non-consensual distribution of intimate images.” The common term for this is “revenge porn.”
Under Canadian civil law, there is protection against defamation.
Defamation is harm caused to a person’s reputation because the cyber bully spreads false information. The person harmed must be the obvious target and the false information needs to be presented to people other than the person targeted.
In Canada, schools and places of employment have the legal requirement to maintain a safe environment for students and workers. If a cyber bully creates an unsafe environment, where a person is afraid to go to school or work because of exclusion by others, teasing, or violence, the school or employer must take actions that are appropriate to stop the bullying behaviour.
Harassment is a crime when a cyber bully makes another person fear for his or her safety or the safety of others. The punishment in Canada for a conviction of criminal harassment is a prison sentence up to ten years long.
A conviction of defamatory libel has a punishment of a prison sentence of up to five years.
Students can submit an online report that is safe and anonymous on the website STOP A BULLY. This service is free for all students and schools in Canada.
You are not alone, know your rights, educate yourself, protect yourself and each other. The following information was gathered from nobullying.com. For more information please visit their website.