Initiative to Support Child Sexual Abuse Survivors

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Survivors’ Survey – Identifying and Responding to the Unique Needs of Victims of Child Sexual Abuse Imagery

Message for Survivors

If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse, please know that our team is working hard to make positive change happen for you and for future generations of survivors.

We believe change is coming. It is important that we share with the public the reality of what we are seeing and hearing from survivors, and what we are learning through our research and technical solutions.

If you feel reading this information and our report might be difficult for you, or if you find yourself feeling distressed after reading it, we encourage you to reach out to supports in your community. This could include personal supports (family and friends) or professional supports (therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselling and crisis response agencies). The online exploitation and abuse of children is a growing problem and we are invested in finding solutions that will prevent this crime and provide protection and support to those impacted by it.

If you would like to speak to us about your experience, or if you have questions about this survey, email us here.

In January 2016, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection launched an international survey for adult survivors whose child sexual abuse was recorded and/or distributed online. More than 150 survivors have participated in the survey and contributed valuable details and information about their experience. We recognize how incredibly difficult and challenging it may have been to complete the survey and we deeply appreciate that so many survivors took the time to share the details of their experience with us. Thank you.

Results of the survey were released in September 2017 – read the results and recommendations here.

In January 2017, we announced a new tool to help remove child sexual abuse materials from the Internet. Project Arachnid uses technology to counter the years of misuse by offenders and help end the cycle of abuse, offering psychological relief to survivors who have had no control over the ongoing sharing of their abuse.

We feel it is essential for you to see how the power of your voice is making a difference, and for this reason, we encourage you to visit the site monthly to see our updates on the progress being made. If you are interested in connecting with our organization to learn more details about the results and/or our progress in specific areas, please click here.

One of the things that we have learned from the responses so far is that a significant number of survey participants would like to be part of a survivors’ network. We can readily understand how such a network could be beneficial. We would like to be able to provide this opportunity to survivors and are working through the necessary details now. Our hope is to make a survivors’ network a reality sometime in the new year.

Given the importance of hearing directly from survivors and the uptake we have seen so far, our plan is to leave the survey open. We recognized that some survivors who had started their survey may still want to fully complete it and that others, who may be new to our site, may wish to contribute their voice as well. At the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, we are committed to learning from your experiences and better understanding the unique challenges you have faced. Your voice can effect change!

To begin the survey, please click here

Here is what we have heard from participants:

“It was very good for me. It allowed me to actually tell people what I felt with no real barriers. It also gave me a sense of empowerment over some of what happened.”

“Thank you that I could be part of your survey… it was hard to fill in the survey, but at the end also rewarding.”

“You thanked me for taking the time to complete the survey, but I am so glad that there are people who start this survey and I hope it will give lots of information to help the children of today. So I would like to thank you for your work and I wish you all the best.”

A victim of child sexual abuse whose images were distributed online speaks about sharing her story and the importance of having a voice.

Dr. Sharon Cooper, a developmental and forensic pediatrician, shares some of her thoughts on your potential participation in this survey.