Assisting Schools in Responding to the Impact of Sexting Incidents on Youth

The significant increase in the number of reported cases of youth creating, sending or sharing sexual images and/or videos with peers (coined in the media as “sexting” but also referred to as “self/peer exploitation”) is an increasing social problem. Often missed, however, is the larger impact such exchanges can have upon the youth involved, as well as the schools, families and community at large. This includes the consequences of such images/videos when their distribution is used as a form of bullying. Acknowledging the challenges schools and families face in responding to self/peer exploitation, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection has created a new resource guide to assist school personnel with guidelines on how to support youth involved in these complex incidents as well as their families.

The resource guide, titled School and Family Approaches to Intervention and Prevention: Addressing Self/Peer Exploitation, was created by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection in consultation with educators, law enforcement officers, crown prosecutors, child development experts and psychologists. Supported by Justice Canada and Bell, the purpose of the resource guide is to help educate school personnel about the issue of self/peer exploitation and offer them a structure and framework on how to respond if a self/peer exploitation incident does occur with students in their school. The resource guide also discusses how to minimize the circulation of the image/video in question, as well as how to appropriately respond to the harmful impact these incidents can have upon the affected youth as well as the school and community at large. Schools across Canada are encouraged to contact us for more information. You can also view our Parent Guide which is a free resource for families dealing with a self/peer exploitation incident.

Are you a member of the media? To set up an interview with one of our spokespeople, please contact us here.