Are you following Mel’s story? CivicAction has partnered with Canadian actor Keara Graves to share an eight-part story on how unhealthy relationships can show up when talking to people online. Follow her stories here.
Everyone has a relationship with someone. Your mom, dad, siblings, significant other, friends, teachers, councillors, even those who follow you on Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat. It’s important though to know if they are good ones, ones you trust. Do they treat you with respect, listen, and are dependable and kind? There are so many reasons why having healthy and positive relationships are important. It’s not just to make you feel confident and safe but because if a relationship is unpredictable, manipulative, dishonest or one that feels intimidating, it could lead to a lot of hurt, and even to something as serious as sex trafficking. Want to know if you are in a good or bad relationship? Here’s an easy breakdown of the signs.
🏫 Are you between the ages of 11-14 and want to learn more? Watch these videos from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
📚 Between the ages of 15-18 and want to learn more? The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has got you covered.
What is Sex Trafficking?
It’s when somebody is lured, tricked and manipulated into selling their body for sex to make money for somebody else.
What is it exactly?
What’s an example of how it can happen?
🛑 Not sure if this might be happening to you or someone you care about? Take a look at these warning signs, and the myths to look out for. Or learn some common misconceptions here.
If you think you might be experiencing grooming, luring, attempts at recruitment, human trafficking, or believe someone else may be, call The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010 or contact the Hotline via chat.
Specially trained Hotline Response Advocates are available to talk 24/7/365. Confidential support is available in over 200 languages.
You do not need to share any information you are not comfortable sharing.
The Hotline exists to help and support you.
Want to keep learning or need more help?
- NeedHelpNow.ca: learn about healthy and unhealthy relationships and how they show up.
- Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking: a national hotline for victims, and can connect you to help centres across Canada.
- Victim Services of Durham Region: a crisis response and intervention service provider.
- Covenant House: youth agency helping trafficked victims.
- Project iRISE: survivor leadership and brand removal.
- BridgeNorth: counselling and mentorship for survivors.
- Cybertip.ca: help if you’re being sextorted.
Sex trafficking is one of the fastest-growing crimes in Canada, it’s not just an international problem, it’s happening here, at home. The average age of a victim is 17 years old, with girls as young as 13 being recruited. And during the pandemic, kids are spending more time online, engaging with strangers on TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, gaming platforms and party rooms. That means, kids are unknowingly opening themselves up to potential recruiters more frequently, a casual conversation with someone you don’t know may seem harmless, but it could lead to something dangerous.
CivicAction has worked with 20+ partners to develop the Under the Influence campaign in order to spread awareness of the issues of sex trafficking for teenagers across Canada. We are grateful to the following individuals and organizations for their support, guidance and input to create this work:
- Grant Mick, SVP Internal Controls, Canadian Banking, Scotiabank
- Catherine Pringle, Director Communications and Public Affairs, Trillium Health Partners
- Alexandra Dagg, Public Policy Manager, Airbnb
- Amanda Galbraith, Principal, Navigator Ltd.
- Andrew Weir, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Tourism Toronto
- Brian Cammack, Regional Vice President Human Resources, Marriott Hotels of Canada
- Carly Kalish, Executive Director, Victim Services of Durham Region
- Casandra Diamond, Founder/Director, BridgeNorth Women’s Mentorship and Advocacy Services
- Craig D’Souza, Global Head Intelligence, Security Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram
- D/S/Sgt. Coyer Yateman, Det. Staff Sgt, Ontario Provincial Police
- David Correa, Detective, Toronto Police Services
- Jane Pyper, Chief Operations and Service Officer, YMCA of Greater Toronto
- Jennifer Fiddian-Green, Partner, Grant Thornton
- Julia Drydyk, Executive Director, The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking
- Kim Howson, 2017 DiverseCity Fellow
- Leanne Nicolle, President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto
- Leonardo Real, Chief Compliance Officer, Tether
- Lisa Cotton, Marketing Manager, Covenant House
- Matthew Dodds, Parents
- Meaghan Gray, Information & Issues Management Head, Corporate Communications, Toronto Police Service
- Nick Pailthorpe, Law Enforcement Liaison Canada
- Rhonelle Bruder, Founder & Executive Director, RISE Initiative
- Scott Evans, General Manager, Edelman
- Lindsay Lobb, Police Relations Liaison, Canadian Centre for Child Protection
- Michael Boole, Manager, Anti-Money Laundering – Intelligence Sector, FINTRAC
- Sarah Fulford, Editor-in-Chief, Toronto Life
We’d like to thank our partners who supported us to bring this campaign to fruition. Thank you to Edelman for their in-kind support in building the campaign and to Scotiabank for their financial support.