The Phoenix 11 is a group of 11 survivors whose child sexual abuse was recorded, and in the majority of cases, distributed online. This group has banded together as a powerful force to challenge the inadequate responses to the prevalence of child sexual abuse images on the internet.
What is the purpose of this group?
The purpose of this united group is to increase public awareness about the widespread issue of child sexual abuse and the lifelong impacts of its recording and distribution on the Internet.
How did the group come together?
In February 2018, following the release of its International Survivors’ Survey, the Canadian Centre, along with the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), organized the first retreat for this unique group of survivors in North America. The purpose of the retreat was to bring together survivors with similar experiences, to provide a place for them to share some of the challenges they face/have faced in a safe and supportive environment, to network and to build health relationships with other survivors. One outcome of the retreat was the establishment of an action group to focus on bringing the collective voice of victims and survivors to the international stage to effect change.
Building on the retreat, the Canadian Centre and NCMEC convened an Action Group Meeting in July 2018 with these survivors to develop an advocacy agenda to raise awareness about the unique challenges facing these victims and survivors and to encourage governments and NGOs to further the treatment and support of this population. As part of the advocacy agenda, the group — which goes by the name “Phoenix 11” — crafted an advocacy impact statement defining who the Phoenix 11 are as a group and their intention to use their collective voice in the pursuit of change for survivors of child sexual abuse that has been recorded.
How does the group work with the Canadian Centre?
The Canadian Centre assists and supports the efforts of the Phoenix 11 to advocate for change. The ways in which this may occur include writing letters on their behalf, facilitating the use of their Community Impact Statement in court proceedings, and soliciting feedback from them on educational and other materials intended for external audiences.
How does the group support child safety?
As an advocacy group, the Phoenix 11 is harnessing the collective power of their voices to affect change for themselves and the others who continue to suffer in silence. Governments, industry and non-governmental organizations are being called on to do more to eradicate the spread of child sexual abuse imagery and better support survivors of this heinous crime.