Here are some ways to stay safe in your relationships, both in real life and online.
Whether using social media, instant messaging, or a gaming app:
Set appropriate privacy and location settings on your devices and in apps (learn how here).
Don’t share lots of personal information (things like your age, where you go to school, names of your friends, or specific hobbies).
Never share nude or suggestive photos of yourself over the internet.
If you post photos, be careful of any identifying information that might be visible.
Set your account to private and use a private account appropriately.
Don’t add just anyone who requests it.
Never add someone that you haven’t met in real life.
Be smart when you’re meeting someone in person, even if it’s someone you already know.
Meet in a place where there are other people around, like a mall, public park, or coffee shop.
Bring a friend or arrange to meet as a group.
Tell someone (a responsible friend or trusted adult) where you’re going.
Make sure they have your phone number or another way to reach you.
Agree to check in by texting or calling a trusted person at a certain time.
Have a plan in place. Know what to do or who you would call if you need help. Know where you’re going, and have a plan for getting home.
You may think of an exploiter as a stranger on the internet, or someone you’re meeting for the first time. Unfortunately, many young people are exploited by people they already know.
An exploiter can be a relative, or someone you thought was a friend. That’s why it’s important to stay safe, and to keep the red flags in mind even in interactions with people you already know.
Talk about the issue with your friends. Pay attention to the signs.
You’re never alone – if you feel uncomfortable in an interaction or are worried about a relationship, tell a trusted adult.
You can also text our confidential line at (604) 866-6779. Text us at any time, and we will respond as quickly as we can during our office hours, 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
Children of the Street is dedicated to preventing the sexual exploitation and human trafficking of children and youth in British Columbia. We achieve this goal through education strategies, public awareness initiatives, and family support. Children of the Street is a program of PLEA Community Services Society of BC.
We acknowledge that we work, live and play on the unseeded territories of the Kwiketlem, Tseil-Waututh, Sto:lo and Qayqayt peoples.