Marie-Vincent Foundation encourages parents to better supervise their children’s Web surfing!
Montréal, December 13, 2011 — The Marie-Vincent Foundation, which raises funds to support child victims of maltreatment in Québec, in co-operation with the national organization Cybertip.ca, announced today the results of the first survey of Québec parents on Internet use by children aged 3 to 12.
The survey findings, announced at a news conference attended by representatives of the various police forces, confirm that as early as age 3, children have access to a wide variety of electronic devices: desktop and laptop computers, video game consoles, iPods and MP3 players, webcams, smartphones with Internet access, and more. And their use obviously increases with age.
This survey also demonstrates that three in four children aged 3 to 12 go online and that one in two interacts with other people on the Internet, either via social networks, chatting or online gaming. In addition, the survey reveals that 80% of parents believe the Internet can be a dangerous source for the sexual exploitation of children. And nearly 50% of parents surveyed say they do not talk with their children about the possible dangers of Web surfing — this when one in 10 young people has already been in contact with someone he or she doesn’t know.
Just a few days before the start of the Holidays, Lucie Joyal, Executive Director of the Marie-Vincent Foundation, is calling on parents to be vigilant, stressing that “three in four parents do not use parental control software.”
For her part, Signy Arnason, Director of Cybertip.ca, added: “It is important that parents talk regularly with their children about Internet safety. It’s as important as telling them to look both ways before crossing the street or attaching their safety belt in the car. These days, children are always accessible on the Web and it’s all the more important to give them safety guidelines in order to reduce their exposure to risks.”
And Jean Saint-Onge, Chair of the Board of the Marie-Vince Foundation, noted: “This survey, the first ever conducted in Québec on parents’ perceptions of Internet use by children aged 3 to 12, is among the many prevention and awareness-raising activities the Foundation supports. It represents an initial inquiry into an issue that remains little documented in Québec — even though it is an everyday reality — and it inspires us to push our quest for information even further.”
The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal, the Sûreté du Québec, the RCMP, the Centre jeunesse de Montréal – Institut universitaire, and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection are all supporting the efforts of the Marie-Vincent Foundation and Cybertip.ca to raise the awareness of parents of the hazards of children’s unsupervised Web browsing.
The telephone survey, an initiative of the Marie-Vincent Foundation, was conducted in Québec from June 22 to July 10, 2011, among 1,000 parents of children aged 3 to 12, using a simple random sampling method of Québec-wide telephone numbers. Its margin of error is + 3.1%. It was funded by Bell Canada and conducted by CEFRIO (Centre francophone de recherche en informatisation des organisations).
Cybertip.ca, Canada's national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children, is owned and operated by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, one of the country’s main charitable organizations dedicated to the personal safety of all children. Since launching nationally in 2002, Cybertip.ca has received more than 53,000 child sexual exploitation reports from Canada.
About the Marie-Vincent Foundation
Since 1975, the Marie-Vincent Foundation has helped meet the needs of Québec children aged 12 and under who are victims of maltreatement. It raises funds to support prevention, education and intervention programs for young victims and their families. For many years, the Marie-Vincent Foundation has worked to raise public awareness of the devastating consequences of abuse in the lives of its young victims. In 2005, the Foundation created the Centre d’expertise Marie-Vincent, which offers under one roof all the specialized services that child victims of sexual abuse and their families may need.
Source: Marie-Vincent Foundation