The Internet and Child Sexual Abuse
Technology can be used in situations of child sexual abuse. Easy access to the Internet, smart phones, and digital cameras are likely changing the way some sexual abuse occurs. Adults need to understand the ways in which children can be exploited using the Internet because of increased access to these forms of technology.
Canada, Technology, and Child Sexual Abuse
• Making, looking at, and having images or video where a child’s genitals or anal region are represented for a sexual purpose is illegal in Canada.
• These images and videos are known legally as child pornography.
• It is illegal to make, distribute, possess, or look at child pornography.
• Even if a youth is actively engaged in a consenting sexual act, such as when two teenagers are sexually active together, it is illegal to view, make, possess or distribute images or videos of the acts.
It is possible that increased access to technology is changing rates of child sexual abuse, although this has yet to be demonstrated in the research literature. Internet related sexual abuse has received widespread media attention since the late 1990s (Wolak, J., Finkelhor, D., Mitchell, K. J., & Tbrro, M.L. (2010) ) and it is something that is also increasingly a focus for political activity.
Adapted from the Internet Safety Centre, www.internetsafety.com
TELUS WISE offers free workshops in schools and organizations to educate students/youth about online safety. You can find more information here.
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