Ville de Gatineau
#KEEPITPRIVATE: The Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau and its Partners Launch a Sexting Prevention Program
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#KEEPITPRIVATE: The Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau and its Partners Launch a Sexting Prevention Program
#KEEPITPRIVATE: The Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau and its Partners Launch a Sexting Prevention Program

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Ce communiqué a été publié le 24 avril 2017. L'information dans ce communiqué pourrait ne plus être à jour et certains liens pourraient ne plus être fonctionnels.
Gatineau, April 24, 2017. – The Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau (SPVG) today launched a new program to counter the emerging phenomenon of sexting. The program is called #KEEPITPRIVATE, and essentially targets youth between 12 and 17 years of age. It consists of a number of components that involve major partners, including the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP) through its Bureau des affaires de la jeunesse, the Centre d'aide et de lutte contre les agressions sexuelles (CALAS) de l'Outaouais, and Gatineau high schools.

Sexting involves the voluntary use of a mobile terminal to create, transmit or exchange text messages of a sexual nature.

"Sexting has become so commonplace among youth, that it keeps spreading, to the point where since 2014, we have handled more than 80 cases of child pornography associated with the phenomenon, indicated criminologist Isabelle Plante, head of the SPVG's Division de la recherche, du développement et de la stratégie organisationnelle. This is cause for concern, particularly since the events adversely affect many people when they occur, and are a source of tremendous distress. By garnering all of the available expertise, we developed a program that will catch the eye of youth and hold their attention, while at the same time meeting the expectations of high schools."

"Whether or not they consented, teens are subject to criminal charges related to the production, possession and distribution of child pornography, as well as to the non-consensual publication of an intimate image when they send or share sexual photos or videos," explained criminal and penal prosecuting attorney Andrée-Anne Tremblay, of the DPCP's Bureau des affaires de la jeunesse. "It is through education that we will shatter the common belief that there are no legal consequences to such actions."

"We are very pleased to be taking part in developing and implementing this program. By getting everyone on board, we can address the issue in its entirety, and intervene at the source by battling prejudices, explained CALAS social worker Joëlle Trahan. Why do young people think that it is not a big deal to share intimate images? What are the social consequences of that dangerous game over the short, medium and long-terms? These are important discussions we need to have with young people."

Description of the #KEEPITPRIVATE program

1. A daring visual identity. – Sexting and child pornography are delicate topics to handle with young people, and humour is very useful in helping to keep the tone light. An unmissable symbol on social media, the #KEEPITPRIVATE hashtag is the logo for the campaign, and carries a double message: it encourages young people to keep their private parts to themselves, and offers an answer to send when they receive an intimate photo. Finally, the visual concept associates ordinary images (e.g. lizard tail, melons, etc.) with the more popular sexual expressions used by teens to designate their private parts.

2. Workshop for secondary one students. – All secondary one students in Gatineau will take part in an in-class hour-long workshop divided into two 30-minute sessions:

a. CALAS will address the social reasons why young people engage in sexting, and will discuss different and more appropriate ways to seduce.

b. The DPCP and the SPVG will expose young people to the possible legal consequences of producing and distributing child pornography by demystifying the applicable sections in the Criminal Code.

In the workshops, students will be split into two groups (boys and girls) so that the messages can be adapted and the discussions can be more open (less risk of being judged).

3. Interactive PDF for parents. – The document will be available for viewing or downloading from the SPVG Web site, and will be offered through high schools. It aims to inform parents about sexting and its consequences, as well as to equip them to address that delicate topic with their child.

4. Kit for school staff. – Given how widespread the issue is, school staff are frequently called to intervene with teens. The kit will be a reference tool about different aspects of sexting, and aims to provide a list of resources that could be useful to youth, and to inform staff about ways to handle a complaint about child pornography to the SPVG.

5. Posters. – Large posters will be displayed on school walls. In addition to the logo and original illustrations, the posters will carry a legal message that should catch the attention of the youth and generate discussions about the topic.

6. Web site. – A new section of the SPVG Web site shows, among other things, content addressed specifically to young people. It includes a set of images that will give them lighthearted ways to refuse sexting requests.

7. Video. – A video will be released in the summer of 2017 to pursue the conversation with young people on the topic, and to remind them about the resources they can turn to if they need assistance during the summer holidays.

All visuals and reference documents are posted on the SPVG Web site at

À propos de Gatineau

Reconnue pour sa qualité de vie, Gatineau est une ville de 285 000 habitants. Elle est située sur la rive nord de la rivière des Outaouais, et s'étend à l'est et à l'ouest de la rivière Gatineau.

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