'It's a NO': New AbbyPD campaign targets youth sexploitation
The Abbotsford Police Department released a video showing someone requesting pictures via text. (Abbotsford Police Department)
Published Tuesday, April 16, 2019 2:31PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 16, 2019 2:50PM PDT
Police in Abbotsford are launching a new campaign called "It's a NO," aiming to crack down on technological sextortion and sexploitation of the city's youth.
Instead of sending sensitive or disturbing images, Abbotsford youth are being encourage to send a meme instead: the words "It's a NO" split around a large blue letter X.
Sending pictures and videos is as easy as a two or three-touch process on many smartphones; and police say it's a simple process that can lead to serious complications.
On the campaign's website, Abbotsford police quoted a recent study suggesting almost two-thirds of teenage girls have been asked to send someone intimate photos of themselves.
They also cite another study that said more than one-tenth of youth had forwarded a compromising picture without permission, and almost 10 per cent had a private image of theirs shared without permission.
Police suggest peer pressure, harassment, entertainment, threats of harm and promises of affection are significant factors pushing kids and teenagers to send sexts or sensitive images online.
"It is difficult to comprehend the amount of pressure that many of our youth experience through their digital presence," said Community Policing Sgt. Kelly Joiner.
In a video created for the campaign, a person can be seen texting someone, requesting pictures from a supposed sender, before the video fades to black.
The campaign's "It's a NO" message appears around a blue "X" next, and the 26-second video ends with a strong reminder: "Your photos are forever, whether you want them to be or not."
More info about the campaign, as well as the video, can be found here.