THUNDER BAY – A recent incident in Thunder Bay where a nine-year-old girl was abducted by a man brings home the serious issue of sexual abuse. Additionally, recent reports of the abuse suffered by children in what should have been a safe environment – the Catholic Church – bring to the forefront the importance of protecting children from abuse.
The Rainy River District Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to encourage the public to help prevent child sexual abuse and risk of victimization in our communities. The OPP has partnered with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (Canadian Centre) to protect children from those who would do them harm. Through this partnership, the OPP and the Canadian Centre can work effectively to provide resources regarding child protection and child exploitation to the public, as a preventative measure to protect children.
You can do your part to help prevent child sexual abuse. Below are some valuable websites that can assist in educating you and your family about sexual abuse.
Providing Parents with Information to Keep Kids Safe Online
ProtectKidsOnline.ca helps parents/guardians stay on top of the digital world their children are engaging in. On this site, you will find information about the ever-changing online interests of young people, the potential risks they face, and proactive strategies to help keep your child/adolescent safe while online. Visit www.protectkidsonline.ca for more information.
Helping Families Respond to a Sexting Incident
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection assists parents when a sexual image/video of their child has been created and shared with a peer(s), or if their child has shared an image/video of a peer with others. Visit www.cybertip.ca/self_peer_exploitation for more information and to download the free guide.
Responding to Child Sexual Abuse in an Institutional Environment
(Including schools, religious environments, sports organizations or daycares)
Effectively disrupting abuse begins with understanding inappropriate behaviour, grooming and knowing how to respond to misconduct. The Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s Commit to Kids program provides parents and child-serving organizations with tangible steps, policies, and strategies for reducing the risk of child sexual abuse, and encourages organizations to take an active, participatory role in protecting children in their care. For more information visit www.commit2kids.ca.
Encouraging the Reporting of Child Pornography Related Offences
(Including making, distribution, making available, possession, accessing)
Cybertip.ca is Canada’s national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children. Tips from the public can help protect children from sexual abuse. Canadians are encouraged to report concerns to Cybertip.ca if someone they know may be victimizing children online. For more information on addressing child victimization or to report concerns to visit www.cybertip.ca.
Any person with information regarding the sexual abuse of children in the Rainy River District or elsewhere is asked to contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122.
Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000. You may access the Crime Stoppers website at http://www.p3tips.com/273.