Internet Safety

Self/Peer Exploitation

The issue of self/peer exploitation has become a growing concern for parents and school personnel. Coined in the media as “sexting”, this behaviour is generally defined as youth creating, sending or sharing sexual images and/or videos with peers via the Internet and/or electronic devices. It usually involves exchanging images/videos through cell phone picture/video messaging, messaging apps (on iPhones, Blackberries, Androids), social networking sites, etc.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection (through our program) has created a Resource Guide for Families to assist parents in adequately responding to these types of incidents. If a sexual image/video of your child has been created and shared with a peer(s), or if your child has shared an image/video of a peer with others, this guide will serve to:

  • offer you some practical guidance for supporting your child and addressing the situation;
  • help reduce the potential negative impact on your child (and your family);
  • help minimize your child’s involvement in this type of activity; and
  • offer guidance that may limit the circulation of your child’s sexual image(s)/video(s).

This resource is designed to assist families when responding to a self/peer exploitation incident; it is also a useful tool to guide a discussion with your child about preventing her/his involvement in this type of activity.

If you are a school and would like to order a copy of the Resource Guide for Schools, click here.

In addition to the Resource Guide for Families, has created a website on self/peer exploitation that is geared towards youth. On this site, teens can access information about how to manage this type of incident, including information about how to request images/videos be removed from websites. For more information, please visit