WINNIPEG, Man. – Today’s Juno Awards ceremony is bringing Canadian musicians and politicians together on the Twittersphere and on Facebook to spread the important message that #youtharenotalone. The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is reaching out to youth through social media, the very space where they may be struggling with peers and the spread of sexual images, to let them know that there is help in the form of their new website, www.NeedHelpNow.ca. This new online resource is designed to help Canadian youth deal with the negative consequences of the creation and distribution of sexual images online. The website shows teens how to stop the spread of sexual images online.
NeedHelpNow.ca provides information to youth who have been negatively impacted by a sexual picture or video of themselves being shared by peers. The goal is to provide teens with practical steps so that they can regain control over the situation. NeedHelpNow.ca, created with the support of Bell, the Government of Canada and spearheaded by Mrs. Laureen Harper, includes helpful information on how teens can go about seeking the support of a safe adult, and outlines strategies for managing peers, family and school environments as well as the harassment that may occur both online and offline.
“Today’s youth are facing so many more challenges than previous generations, and we need to help them better understand the risks, manage the fall-out, and know that their future need not be defined by one image, one mistake,” says Lianna McDonald, executive director, Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
“Once an incident happens events can spiral out of control,” says Mrs. Laureen Harper. “The NeedHelpNow.ca website is a tool to help kids and parents take back control. This is an invaluable resource for anyone who has a teenager in their lives. Young people need to know that someone is there to help.”
“Cyberbullying is a very serious issue and we all have a role to play to protect Canada’s youth against becoming victims,” says Minister Ambrose. “Our government is committed to standing up for victims and we will remain vigilant when it comes to protecting Canada's most vulnerable individuals – our children.”
“Bell is proud to support the Canadian Centre for Child Protection in providing timely and effective resources to help young people stay safe online,” says Mary Deacon, chair of the Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative.
Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of reported cases of young people involved in self/peerexploitation. This type of exploitation, coined in the media as “sexting,” is generally defined as youth creating, sending or sharing sexual images and/or videos with peers via the internet and/or electronic devices.
Recent events serve as a call to action for Canadians to protect youth from further harm and harm to themselves. The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is encouraging all Canadians to visit the NeedHelpNow.ca website and learn more about ways to better support and educate youth.
To further address the challenges youth are facing, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection has also created a resource guide for educators and parents, which can be accessed by clicking HERE.
Youth today are managing a variety of challenging issues, and while technology has opened up new opportunities for teens, it has also impacted their lives in a way that no one could have ever imagined. Teens also face additional barriers pertaining to how new technologies influence their attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. In creating the NeedHelpNow.ca website, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection is letting teens who may be struggling with these issues know that they are not alone.
For more information, please contact:
Manager of Communications and Research
Canadian Centre for Child Protection
Cell: (204) 801-6838