ON February 24, in honour of Pink Shirt Day, the City of Surrey Community Safety section and a group of Surrey youth launched a social media video campaign to stop non-consensual distribution of intimate images, a form of cyberbullying.
The youth-led awareness project, developed in collaboration with Surrey RCMP Operations Support and B.C. RCMP E-Division Youth Services, features a 60-second video highlighting social accountability when it comes to spreading intimate images of others. The video asks youth to break the chain by deleting the image and never forwarding—not even to a best friend.
The idea for the project followed two Surrey RCMP news releases in the spring and summer of 2020 highlighting the rise in sextortion cases among youth. In response, the Community Safety section held focus groups with 45 youth and more than 30 professionals (teachers, principals, counsellors and other youth workers) to better understand the issue.
“Many children and youth do not realize that, in addition to the harm it causes the person in the image, being part of a chain that forwards that image could result in social, emotional and legal consequences for themselves,” said Colleen Kerr, Manager, Community Safety Stakeholder Engagement. “This Pink Shirt Day, we are asking youth to show each other empathy, kindness and respect and to end the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.”
The video—featuring 14 to 17-year-olds from the WRAParound program, Surrey Leadership Youth Council, Community Schools Partnership and Club Utopia—was filmed at City of Surrey’s SAFE Centre, Surrey City Hall and Surrey Libraries City Centre branch.
Between February 24 and March 2 (excluding weekends), the public can show its support for the initiative, and be entered into a random draw for one of five pairs of AirPods, by sharing the #BlockEmDontShareEm video and tagging the City of Surrey on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #BlockEmDontShareEm. Visit surrey.ca/news-events/events/pink-shirt-day-2021 for contest details and to view the video. Learn more about cyberbullying and non-consensual distribution of intimate images at justice.gc.ca.