Survivor Advocacy Groups
We are dedicated to working together with survivors to effect change that will create a safer world for children.
In 2016, the Canadian Centre started its journey of connecting with survivors whose child sexual abuse was recorded and in many cases, distributed online with the release of our International Survivors’ Survey. We have prioritized providing survivors of child sexual abuse material with a voice, as well as increasing the use of technological interventions that can reduce their re-victimization. Through our work in the space of online sexual abuse and exploitation, we have learned a great deal about the obstacles survivors face and the lack of supports in place for them worldwide. The Canadian Centre has focused on bringing forward survivor voices to help facilitate much needed change.
In addition to our work with individual survivors, we now work with a number of survivor advocacy groups:
The Phoenix 11
Since 2018, the Canadian Centre and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) have been working with the Phoenix 11, a group of 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.
The Chicago Males
In 2019, the Canadian Centre started working with a group of male survivors, to learn about their experiences, and better understand the unique social stigma males face around sexual abuse. This group is working together to advocate for much needed change in addressing online child sexual abuse and supporting survivors.
The Aramid Collective
In early 2020, the Canadian Centre was introduced to a group of survivors who have been self-monitoring their own CSAM online and reporting to companies to get it removed. This group is using their knowledge and collective voice to help advocate for survivors and the urgent need to address the images and videos of sexual abuse that exist on many platforms. The Aramid Collective has been instrumental in identifying reporting challenges on a number of the most popular platforms.
Mothers of Child Sexual Abuse Material Survivors
To learn about the hardships families of survivors endure, years after the hands-on abuse has ended, we have convened a group of mothers whose children’s sexual abuse was recorded and distributed online. We learned that for moms there is an emotional continuum long after “the discovery” of the abuse that often includes loss of relationships, financial instability, and a constant worry about their child’s safety, to name only a few examples. Their insight is crucial to guiding the creation of support resources.
What is the purpose of these groups?
The purpose of these united groups is to increase public awareness about the widespread issue of child sexual abuse and the lifelong impacts of its recording and distribution online.
How do the groups work with the Canadian Centre?
The Canadian Centre assists and supports the efforts of each group 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.
Visit the Support for Survivors and Their Families section for resources developed with input from the Phoenix 11.
How do these groups support child safety?
As advocacy groups, survivors are harnessing the collective power of their voice 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 material and better support survivors of this heinous crime.
Visit the Support for Survivors and Their Families section to see resources for survivors.