Crime Prevention Ottawa (CPO) announced the release this week of a research report, Sexual Violence, Social Media and Youth, funded by CPO and supported by the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW). The research examines a critical issue affecting today’s teens and young people: the impact of social media on youth in sexual violence situations. Conducted by Jordan Fairbairn (PhD candidate) and Dr. Rena Bivens, Carleton University and Dr. Myrna Dawson, University of Guelph, the research takes a community-based approach to examining the problem and its impact on victims and survivors. A preliminary report was presented at a CPO Speaker Series and public consultations were organized in collaboration with OCTEVAW in May 2013. More than 125 participants discussed the results and took steps towards identifying prevention tools and developing a plan for Ottawa to combat the problem. The presentation of research findings as well as interviews with consultation participants can be viewed on YouTube. The final report which integrates the outcomes of the consultation is available on the CPO website. CPO is providing funding to Family Services Ottawa to plan the “In Love and In Danger” Conference for 200 Ottawa high school students in October. The funding will help youth develop better relationship and social media skills. It will also provide students and their teachers with sexual violence and social media resources. Family Services Ottawa will also establish an advisory committee on this important issue. It will include representatives from CPO, OCTEVAW, the Ottawa Catholic School Board and the Ottawa Carleton District School Board.
Fairbairn, J., R. Bivens, and M. Dawson. (2013). Sexual violence and social media: Building a framework for prevention. Ottawa: Crime Prevention Ottawa.