Childhood Sexual Exploitation and an Upcoming Information Session

On Friday, January 24, an Archbishop was found guilty of sexual assault in a Manitoba court. The assault occurred nearly 30 years ago and the Archbishop was not found guilty of all charges brought against him.

News stories such as this often make the world seem like a scary and dangerous place. This is the story of a “trustworthy” member of the community was accused and convicted of violating and abusing his authority. There are so many people that we trust and even depend on regularly, and the thought of those people taking advantage of us, our neighbours, or our children is very disturbing. National statistics on this matter do not make us feel any better. We know that 75% of sexual assaults against children are perpetrated by someone known to the child.

However, this news story can be read in another way. This is the story of two brothers who were victims of childhood sexual abuse and were able to come forward and seek some kind of justice for their abuse. This story could be seen as a hopeful one for all those who have been unable to report their experience of sexual abuse. The two victims in this story are the exception rather than the rule in terms of reporting their experience to the authorities. According to Statistics Canada, 80% of underage victims never report their experience.

We probably all know someone who has experienced some form of sexual exploitation in their childhood. It is alarmingly rampant in our society, but there are many things that each and every one of us can do to put a stop to child sexual exploitation. Check out these Manitoba resources to learn more about how you can be a part of the solution Helping Keep Kids Safe and Stop Sex With Kids.

For professionals who work with children and families, there will be an information session on Sexual Exploitation on February 21 at 1 pm at Wings of Power, located at 39 Pine Street, Pine Falls, MB. There will be a presentation about Manitoba’s Sexual Exploitation Strategy from members of the Sexual Exploitation Unit of the Child Protection Branch. There will also be a presentation about human trafficking from the RCMP First Nations Community Liaison, Cpl. Gabriel Simard. For more information or to register for this event, please email stephanie@survivors-hope.ca.

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