While a women's advocate applauds the Saskatchewan government's plans to give victims of revenge porn more power in court, she says the move won't shift the cultural attitudes behind the harmful practice.

In Wednesday's throne speech, the provincial government announced plans to change the Privacy Act to allow victims of revenge porn the option to sue their bullies in small-claims court. Revenge porn is typically when private intimate images are publicly shared online without authorization.

The province said that relying solely on the Criminal Code to crack down on this type of cyberbullying has been difficult because the burden of proof is so high.

The changes will "put the onus on the person that circulates it to prove that they had the consent of the person who was in the pictures," said Justice Minister Don Morgan to reporters Wednesday.

"It's a tool that we want to give to victims in our province," he said.

Don Morgan

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan says this change will 'put the onus on the person that circulates [the content] to prove that they had the consent of the person who was in the pictures.' (CBC)

Jill Arnott, executive director with the University of Regina Women's Centre, said "a situation where you're able to go to small-claims court allows you to have some agency and have some power in what you would like to pursue.

"People will be able to take some power back."

While she is cautiously hopeful the changes will empower more victims to come forward, she said it doesn't shift the deeply embedded cultural attitudes that cause people to commit these acts in the first place.

She said there needs to be a profound shift in how our society views women and their bodies.

Jill Arnott

Jill Arnott is the executive director with the University of Regina Women's Centre. (Tyler Pidlubny/CBC)

"Private communications and private moments are private moments and private communications," said Arnott.

"The shame really lies with the person who would chose to expose those and exploit them."

Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan sees the proposed legislation amendment as a positive change.

In an email, executive director Kerrie Isaac wrote: "It provides access to reporting services and the removal of barriers for individuals who experience any form of sexual violence."

Morgan said the government doesn't know how big the problem of revenge porn is, but said the topic comes up "in the context of cyberbullying."

With files from Guy Quenneville