It’s a feeling deep down in the pit of your stomach. Something isn’t right. That picture looked a bit off, and isn’t telling the whole story. Your intuition is screaming at you to do something, but your fear of over reacting, or getting pulled into a mess-that-isn’t-yours takes over. What if it really isn’t anything? What if it is?
Cybertip.ca, operated by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection,is an integral part of the Government of Canada’s National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the internet.
Bad things happen. With over 3,300 reports submitted to the tipline monthly, we KNOW bad things are happening! 95 per cent of the reports submitted to Cybertip.ca deal with child sexual abuse videos and images. Children are abused is ways that are unfathomable to us. Yet, they have to deal with it every.single.day. They are powerless in a struggle that they shouldn’t be a part of, and they are counting on us to take action.
Us. The adults in the room who are questioning what they’re seeing. We need to act on those gut feelings. They need us to CLICK.
Here’s the thing.
Sexual abuse doesn’t happen by accident.
To create a photo or video of a child in a sexual setting, or stance, or being sexually assaulted, you must abuse the child. There are no accidents, no mistakes. Possessing and distributing these images is something that one does on purpose. With intention. It is never a joke, or staged.
A recent study conducted by the Canadian Centre examined close to 152,000 reports, including 43,762 unique images and videos classified as child pornography. The fact that so many reports and images even exist is sickening… It gets worse. Nearly 80 per cent of the images assessed by Cybertip.ca were of very young, pre-pubescent children. Kids who are still very small, under 12 years of age. But more alarming still -these pictures, these videos – almost 70 per cent of them appear to have been taken in a home setting.
Yes… this happens at home. The one place in the world when all children should be able to have peace.
So here is what I ask you.
Please, visit Cybertip.ca and browse around. Check out the current #ctipday2016 campaign and know how to report things should you ever come across a child who needs your help. Follow the conversation on social media and engage. Share the knowledge. It may not be you that this information helps, but maybe a friend, a relative. Someone’s little boy or little girl.
Thanks to Cybertip.ca and the people who trusted their instincts and reported, at least 514 individuals have been arrested, and more than 490 children have been rescued from the grips of their abusers.