As a Canadian parent it is so important to be aware of the facts surrounding child sexual abuse and how to keep our children safe. I'll admit that I haven't given this topic much thought, but as my kids are now school age and not always with me, their safety and the safety of their peers is becoming increasingly important to me. The world has changed since I was a kid, and unfortunately sexual offenders are using the online space to both target and exploit their victims who are all too often children. It's so important for the public to be aware of this, to educate ourselves and know how to report a problem and protect these kids.
Cybertip.ca, operated by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, is part of the Government of Canada’s National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet. Some surprising facts to be aware of:
- To date, Cybertip.ca has responded to 200,000+ child sexual exploitation reports from the public.
- Cybertip.ca receives an average of 3,300 reports per month.
- 95 per cent of reports submitted to Cybertip.ca deal with concerns over child sexual abuse images/videos.
- To date, reports to Cybertip.ca have resulted in at least 514 individuals being arrested and the identification and rescue of 490 children.
I was blown away by these statistics. As a Mom it's concerning and I want to help. I would encourage everyone to visit this website, share their videos, follow them on social media - search out the hashtag #Cybertip2016 to engage in the conversation - and make sure you are aware of what to do if you see a problem concerning the welfare of a child. It is my hope that the number of victims reported over the coming years decreases and more children are protected before anything happens to them.