News and Media

What Can Parents do to Protect Teens Online?

CANADIAN CENTRE OFFERS NEW RESOURCES TO PROTECT TEENS THIS SAFER INTERNET DAY

February 11, 2014
For Immediate Release

WINNIPEG, MB: Today, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection announces new educational resources to help address growing concerns related to the online sexual exploitation of teens. The “How Can Parents Keep Teens Safe from Online Sexual Exploitation?” guide will complement a new educational kit for teachers of students in Grade 7 and 8. The kit has been created in response to emerging online risks and recent tragedies involving young people in Canada. The goal is to reduce the incidence of adolescent sexual exploitation. Lessons include information about healthy and unhealthy relationships, establishing personal boundaries, and what constitutes inappropriate adult-child interactions.

Youth are especially vulnerable to online exploitation - their search for acceptance and the perception of anonymity and privacy online can also lower inhibitions leaving them open to manipulation by others. In a recent review of Canadian case law involving the offence of online luring, over 90 % (96 of 104) of the child victims did not come forward themselves and disclose the abuse. Of the child victims who did report concerns (8), 75% of the children had already been sexually abused or exploited prior to coming forward.

“What the data points to is that young people appear to be very reluctant to come forward and tell somebody that they need help” says Lianna McDonald, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Child Protection. “We need to do a much better job of helping kids understand when they need help, where to get that help and why it is so important to reach out to a safe adult.”

“All Canadians – and especially our youth – deserve to feel safe, whether it be in their neighbourhoods, schools, or online,” said Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Peter MacKay. “The development of technology can bring with it many benefits, but also new threats. On International Safer Internet Day, I join in asking Canadians to increase their awareness of the dangers of cyber use, the tools available to fight against those who pose dangers online, and the proposed legislative amendments to better protect Canadians.”

“It has never been more important for Canadians to protect themselves and their families online,” said Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney. “Too many families across this country have experienced the devastating effects of cyberbullying, and too many families and businesses are increasingly being targeted by cyber criminals. On this Safer Internet Day, I encourage all Canadians to visit resources like GetCyberSafe.ca, Canada.ca/StopHatingOnline and protectchildren.ca to learn about how to protect themselves online.”

This Safer Internet Day, the Canadian Centre is also encouraging parents and others to sign up for Cybertip.ca Alerts – a new notification system that offers vital information to the public concerning technology trends and new resources designed to increase children’s personal safety. Visit Cybertip.ca to sign-up today!

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection operates Cybertip.ca, Canada’s national tipline to report the online sexual exploitation of children. Cybertip.ca is supported by lead partners that include the Government of Canada, Bell, TELUS, Shaw, MTS Allstream and Rogers.

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BACKGROUNDER:

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection (protectchildren.ca) is a charitable organization dedicated to the personal safety of all children. Our goal is to reduce child victimization by providing programs and services to Canadians. We do this through public awareness activities, our personal safety education program (Kids in the Know), our national tipline to report online sexual abuse of children (Cybertip.ca), our program to help organizations prevent child sexual abuse (Commit to Kids), and our national missing children program (MissingKids.ca).

The Canadian Centre is committed to keeping schools and families up-to-date by providing information to promote safer use of technology. Every year, our organization sends out Internet safety resources to schools across Canada free-of-charge. In keeping with that tradition, we are sending out over 1.3 million Internet safety materials to schools across Canada this February to encourage safer Internet practices among children and youth. Resources targeting Grade 3, 4 and 6 include:

  • Parenting Tween/Teens in a Digital World booklet
  • The Door that’s Not Locked Internet Safety booklet (10-12 year olds)
  • Smartphone Safety Guide
  • Be Smart Strong and Safe Activity booklet
  • Zoe and Molly Online Comics

Parents and teachers alike are also encouraged to visit thedoorthatsnotlocked.ca – Canada’s one-stop shop for age-specific Internet safety information.

If you are a member of the media and would like to arrange an interview with one of our spokespeople please contact our communications team:

Communications, Canadian Centre for Child Protection

Phone:
204-945-8074
204-801-2979 (Cell)

Email:
communications@protectchildren.ca