Surrey RCMP are hosting a webinar that the public is invited to attend on preventing sexual exploitation of children and youth
THIS week marks “Stop sexual exploitation of children and youth awareness week,” providing an opportunity for parents to have an open dialogue with their kids about the risks of sexual extortions, says Surrey RCMP.
In 2022, Surrey RCMP saw a 41% increase in the number of sexual extortions reported to police. In the majority of reports, the suspects were strangers and in 70% of reports, the victims were male. In 2022, 20% of the reports involved victims under 18 years old, and numerous involved males in the 18-20 age range.
Another way to describe sextortion is blackmail. It usually involves the victim being tricked into sharing personal sexual images or videos. The extorter threatens to leak the photo online or share it with the person’s friends or family if the victim does not comply with their demands. Generally, sexual extortions involving male victims involve a demand for money, and when it involves a female victim, they request additional images, says Surrey RCMP.
The main way to prevent sextortion is by never sharing any intimate images and not communicating with strangers online.
It is equally important our youth know that if they do make a mistake and share an intimate image, that they will have a safe space where they can ask for help from a trusted adult. An online resource — NeedHelpNow.ca — can offer youth and parents a clear step-by-step guide on what to do and how to seek or provide help.
If you fall victim to a sextortion scam police recommend that you:
* Immediately stop talking to that person;
* Temporarily deactivate your account, but do not delete the communications;
* Do not give into threats/ demands, never send money or additional photos;
* Reach out for help, tell a trusted adult and report it to your local police.
There is a wealth of information and resources available at cybertip.ca. Knowledge is power, educating youths on the risks of sharing intimate images or partaking in sexual encounters online is the key to prevention.
“These predators are capitalizing on people’s fear of public shame in an attempt to extort money,” said Surrey RCMP Media Relations Officer, Cpl. Vanessa Munn, on Friday. “Awareness, an open dialogue and supporting our youth is the key to keeping them safe.
Surrey RCMP are hosting a webinar that the public is invited to attend on preventing sexual exploitation of children and youth. Constable Sukh Chattha will offer tips and information based on a youth program designed by the Surrey RCMP called Project Lavender.
When: March 16 at 1 p.m.
Where: Zoom, pre-registration is required by e-mail to E_Surrey_Project_Lavender@rcmp-grc.gc.ca (a link will be forwarded upon registration).