Website posts sexually explicit photos without women's consent
Private, sexual images of women from the province have been made public on a pornographic website, and those photographs are being viewed without the women's consent.
Nude images of dozens of women have been posted on a website that appears to have been created last year, but is now being widely shared on social media platforms.
Some of the women have requested, both on social media and on the website itself, for the photographs to be taken down, as they were not intended to be viewed publicly, but shared privately with another individual.
An advocate for victims of sexual exploitation says this kind of violation of privacy can cause a lifetime of stress and humiliation for some.
"The impact of being exploited can be a lifetime of trying to rehabilitate or get yourself into a better place. We see people who have post traumatic stress syndrome from their experiences of being exploited."
Some viewers are encouraging others to post naked pictures of specific girls from Newfoundland and Labrador, using Facebook profile pictures to find potential explicit photos.
"Most people today have some kind of image of themselves on a social media channel and the thought that anyone would think it's okay to take that image, post it on here and say '[does] anyone have nude shots of this person?' is degrading to the people," said Crockwell.
It's exploitive and every time someone looks at the picture of someone that's there without their consent, we as a general public are exploiting that person.- Angela Crockwell, executive director of Thrive
Crockwell said the practice is not only unethical, it's potentially illegal. "If the pictures are of somebody under the age of 18, they're actually considered child pornography so people could be charged with the viewing and distribution of child porn if that image is of somebody under the age of 18."
Crockwell said that the people viewing the images are as equally complicit as the people posting the photos to the page.
"When it's done without people's consent, the impact on that person can be long-lasting and that can impact employment opportunities, self-esteem, their mental health," said Crockwell.
"It's exploitive and every time someone looks at the picture of someone that's there without their consent, we as a general public are exploiting that person."
The CBC contacted the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary for comment, but it is unclear how police are dealing with this matter.
With files from Amy Stoodley.