The STOP SEX WITH KIDS Campaign
The Stop Sex with Kids campaign is a part of the provincial government's Manitoba Strategy to address child sexual exploitation.
With funding support from the Manitoba government, Child Find Manitoba has worked in partnership with the province and numerous community organizations to develop and carry out the different phases of the campaign.
Phase I, delivered in 2006, was designed to equate sexual exploitation to child sexual abuse. The goal was to increase general awareness about children exploited through prostitution. Key messages included:
- Sex with children isn’t child play. It’s child abuse.
- Sex is being bought from a child right now in Manitoba.
Phase II, delivered in 2008, informed and reminded the public that children exploited through the sex trade are victims and experience significant harm. The goal was to increase awareness about the impact of child sexual exploitation. Key messages included:
- Sexual exploitation is happening in our province. It is sexual abuse and it is a crime.
- Most child sexual exploitation occurs behind closed doors. Although the crime is often invisible, the scars it leaves on children are not.
The Impact: In the last four years there has been an incredible shift in the way the public regards kids who are exploited through the sex trade. Today, the Winnipeg Police Service’s Missing Persons Unit strategically monitors high-risk teens. Terminology such as child prostitutes has been replaced with high-risk victims. Our united efforts have successfully changed the way people think. Now our attention has turned to mobilizing them to act.
Phase III of the campaign, launched on April 28, 2010, is a call-to-action designed to mobilize adults to do their part to protect children. The goal is to increase public involvement by getting them to:
- actively report sexual exploitation to authorities;
- educate those who make excuses for children being exploited;
- talk to their family and friends about the issue and about becoming part of the solution.