Theme: Sexual exploitation / Girls aged 14–20
Action research through focus groups, a working committee and strategic actions in
high schools / Funded by Status of Women Canada
The aim of Working Together Against Sexual Violence is to analyze institutional barriers that prevent girls aged 14–20 years from avoiding sexual exploitation and at-risk environments. The goal is also to mobilize partners to bring about institutional changes in schools and communities to combat the sexual exploitation of girls and young
Although any adult or child, regardless of their gender, may become a victim of sexual exploitation,2 of the 40 to 42 million people around the world who were involved in the sex trade in 2011, nearly 80% were women and girls (Fondation Scelles, 2012). In 2016, the tragic situation of girls fleeing youth centres to join sexual exploitation networks caused the media to draw public attention to a phenomenon of which community and public agencies have long been aware. Why does child sexual exploitation exist, and, more to the point, what are the factors that facilitate the sexual exploitation of girls?
In answer to the last question, this study sought to shine a light on obstacles and barriers to preventing the sexual exploitation of girls in the Greater Montréal area. Our aim is to contribute to efforts already underway by institutions and community groups to protect girls from this scourge. To this end, we identified obstacles at various levels, including within our society, the government, schools, the community sector, and in different youth-related contexts.
The working committee has developed several tools to support professionals working with youth who have experienced sexual exploitation. These tools focus on prevention and intervention and favour collaboration and the sharing of expertise:
The Resource Guide – sexual exploitation, Montreal and its surrounding regions, brings together a limited list of organizations that are working on this issue in Montreal, Laval and the Montérégie;
Download The Resource Guide
Tools that assist prevention and intervention in situations of sexual exploitation of youth.
- The List of possible indicators of sexual exploitation of youth includes signs (clues) that might indicate that a young person is a victim of sexual exploitation;
- The Risk and Protection Factor Grid is addressed exclusively to professionals who have been trained in issues surrounding the sexual exploitation of youth and aims to identify the signs of vulnerability in youth;
Download The Prevention Tools
The Referral Protocol Structure
The Referral Protocol Structureis intended to help professionals working in education, in the community and in institutions, prevent and/or identify possible cases of sexual exploitation, initiate an intervention according to the capacity of the organization and its counsellors, and refer to other specialized resources.
Download The Reference Protocol Structure
Strategic Action Plan
Lastly, an improved Strategic Action Plan will be disseminated in order to share best practices with other domains, enlarge the project’s scope and ensure the implementation of the action plan in other Montreal schools.
Download The Strategic Action Plan
Partners: Calixa-Lavallée High School, La Voie High School, Marie-Victorin School Board, Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES), Comité d’action contre la traite humaine interne et internationale (CATHII), RÉSAL – Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales, Batshaw Youth and Family Centres, Prévention CDN-NDG, Trêve pour elles (Centre d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel), and Beacon of the Freed.