The Reality of Cyber Safety and Online Harms: Insights from Victim Services of Durham Region
The average teenager spends almost 7.5 hours on screens every day (All About Vision, 2022), much of which is spent on the internet. As both children and adults continue to spend more time online, the issue of online safety has become increasingly important.
From cyberbullying to sextortion, the internet has created new opportunities for harassment and exploitation. Unfortunately, many victims of these crimes often feel alone and unsure of where to turn for help.
To shed light on this critical issue, we had the privilege of speaking with Sydney Marcoux Clinical Director at Victim Services of Durham Region about the prevalence of online safety issues, including harassment, sextortion, and human trafficking. Join us as we uncover the challenges and opportunities in creating a safer online world for everyone.
In part one of this interview, we explore the reality and prevalence of these crimes in Canada and the impact they have on victims.
View our resources on sextortion to learn how to protect yourself, your family, and how to support victims of sextortion. Remember: Even if the victim sent the images or video consensually, it is still sextortion and it’s a crime.
It may be shocking to find out that human trafficking isn’t just a foreign problem. It’s happening here in Canada, and it’s on the rise. Stay tuned for our in-depth resource on The Roles of Technology in Facilitating and Preventing Human Trafficking.
In part two of this interview, Sydney explains what steps individuals and communities can take to prevent and address online abuse, along with Victim Services’ role in supporting victims of various crimes.
As mentioned by Sydney, Victim Services of Durham Region collaborates closely with community members to provide crisis response, intervention, and prevention support to victims and their families. Their incredible work helps individuals facing a diverse range of situations. If you have been victimized and require assistance, or if you are interested in participating in their organization, please visit their website for more information. Victim Services of Durham Region. We’re here to help, when people need us most. (victimservicesdurham.ca)
Learn more about Victim Services of Durham Region’s Annual Anti-Human Trafficking Youth Symposium.
You can also join the community walk on May 27th, 2023, organized by Trent University and Victim Services of Durham Region to raise awareness about human trafficking, and contribute to the efforts to put an end to it. Human Trafficking Educational Walk and Community Awareness Events #StuckInTraffick – Trent University – Durham GTA
If you or someone you know has been victimized by online harassment, cyberbullying, sextortion, or human trafficking, here are some ways to seek help.
- Victim Services of Durham Region Phone: 1 (888) 579-1520 ext. 3400
- Ontario Network of Victim Service Providers
- Victim Services Toronto Phone: 416-808-7066
- Kids Help Phone: Text CONNECT to 686868, Call 1-800-668-6868
- Your local police
- Canada’s National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-833-900-1010