Police are urging parents to speak to their children about the dangers of sharing sexually explicit photos after an 11-year-old girl shared photos and videos with an unknown individual.
Norfolk County OPP were contacted on March 19 by a concerned parent after being made aware that these photos and videos had been sent.
The OPP is concerned about the safety of those involved, and wants to create a greater awareness about the issue and what can be done if a teen finds themselves overwhelmed with the reality of their actions.
Teens need to realize the long- and short-term dangers of sending out photographs and videos of themselves. Those who distribute it also need to be aware of the criminal ramifications of doing so.
“Once it’s out there, you can’t get it back and you should not be embarrassed to speak to police about your concerns,” Constable Ed Sanchuk said in a press release.
Porn culture is becoming pop culture, and often parents do not know that their kids are involved, and it can be difficult to determine, said the release. Parents are encouraged to have honest and frank discussions with their kids about what self-peer exploitation is, and explain that the images can often end up somewhere they may not want them to be. Be prepared to offer them some information about who they can turn to if they need help.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is a national charitable organization dedicated to the personal safety of children, with a goal to reduce child victimization. They are a great resource, and have many links to information that is helpful to parents, educators and teens themselves. The Centre also has a tip line to report online sexual exploitation called Cybertip.ca. Cybertip.ca is developing and disseminating effective intervention and prevention practices to reach a variety of stakeholders.