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Canadian Centre for Child Protection: self/peer exploitation — A Resource Guide for Families

Canadian Centre for Child Protection:  self/peer exploitation — A Resource Guide for Families
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INTRODUCTION

The issue of self/peer exploitation1 has become a grow­ing con­cern for school per­son­nel and par­ents. Coined in the media as “sex­ting,” this behav­iour is gen­er­al­ly defined as youth cre­at­ing, send­ing or shar­ing sex­u­al pic­tures and/or videos with peers via the Inter­net and/or elec­tron­ic devices. It usu­al­ly involves exchang­ing pictures/videos through smart­phones, apps and social net­work­ing sites. Con­cerns over this type of behav­iour are esca­lat­ing, name­ly because:

  • the con­se­quences can be harm­ful in the short and long term; and
  • chil­dren are grow­ing up in a tech­nol­o­gy-rich envi­ron­ment and are almost cer­tain to be con­front­ed with a self/peer exploita­tion incident(s) at some point dur­ing adolescence.

This resource is designed to assist fam­i­lies when respond­ing to a self/peer exploita­tion inci­dent and is also a use­ful tool to use as a basis for dis­cus­sion with your child about pre­vent­ing her/his involve­ment in this type of activity.

Self/peer exploita­tion is defined as youth cre­at­ing, send­ing or shar­ing sex­u­al pic­tures and/or videos with peers via the Inter­net and/or elec­tron­ic devices.
Involved youth are defined as:

  • Affect­ed Youth: Youth whose picture/video has been tak­en and/or dis­trib­uted, whether by them­selves or some­one else.
  • Act­ing-out Youth: Youth who have tak­en and/or dis­trib­uted a picture/ video of some­one oth­er than themselves.
  • Oth­er Involved Youth: Bystanders who are in receipt of the dis­trib­uted picture/video, whether by the affect­ed youth or the act­ing-out youth.

PURPOSE OF THE GUIDE 

The Cana­di­an Cen­tre for Child Pro­tec­tion (protectchildren.ca) has cre­at­ed this Resource Guide for Fam­i­lies in con­junc­tion with A Resource Guide for Schools that assists school per­son­nel in ade­quate­ly respond­ing to these types of inci­dents. If your child has cre­at­ed and shared a sex­u­al picture/video of them­selves with a peer(s) or shared a picture/video of a peer with oth­ers, this guide will serve to:

  • offer you some prac­ti­cal guid­ance for sup­port­ing your child and address­ing the situation;
  • help reduce the poten­tial neg­a­tive impact on your child (and your fam­i­ly) if this occurs;
  • help min­i­mize your child’s involve­ment in this type of activ­i­ty; and
  • offer guid­ance that may lim­it the cir­cu­la­tion of the sex­u­al picture(s)/video(s).

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