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Safer Internet Day 2011

Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime Encourages Teaching Children About Online Safety

OTTAWA (Ontario), February 8, 2011 — To mark Safer Internet Day, the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection are sending a united message about the critical need for parents to be informed about the risks children face in today's world of technology and to teach them how to stay safe.

"Any opportunity we have to prevent more children from becoming victims is crucial", said Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, Sue O'Sullivan. "The devastation and long-lasting impacts of victimization are enormous. That is why our Office has made recommendations to the federal government to address the issue of Internet-facilitated child sexual abuse and why raising awareness about these dangers is so important."

"Every day we hear more stories about children being victimized through an online encounter or relationship," said Lianna McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. "Parents need the knowledge and tools to be able to educate their children and keep them safer on the Internet."

According to a recent study, 91 per cent of children say that their parents trust them to make the right decisions online. However, the same poll indicated that parents are not always aware of what is really going on. According to "The Youth Online Behaviour Study for McAfee" (Harris Interactive, 2010), 56 per cent of kids say their parents know "some" of what they do online, 32 per cent say they do not tell their parents what they are doing online, and 31 per cent say they would change their online behaviour if they knew their parents were watching.

The Federal Ombudsman and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection encourage parents, educators and anyone else with children in their lives to educate themselves on the risks and to teach their children strategies to stay safe.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to the personal safety of all children. Its goal is to reduce child victimization by providing programs and services to the Canadian public - including Cybertip.ca, Canada’s national tipline for the reporting the online sexual exploitation of children. To mark this year's Safer Internet Day, the Canadian Centre's Internet safety website "The Door that's Not Locked" has added a number of features to ensure parents have access to comprehensive, age-specific information. Parents can access information on the newest online trends and download age-appropriate safety-related brochures as well as nearly 20 new information sheets.

The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime helps victims to address their needs, promotes their interests and makes recommendations to the federal government on issues that negatively impact victims. The Office's report on Internet-facilitated child sexual abuse can be found at Every Image, Every Child.

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Media contacts

For more information please contact:

Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime
Christina McDonald
Telephone: 613-941-3428
Email: christina.mcdonald@ombudsman.gc.ca

Canadian Centre for Child Protection
Carolyn Shimmin, Communications
Telephone: 204-945-8074
Email: carolyn@protectchildren.ca