Although you’re not responsible for making the exploitation and abuse stop, you can help by being a good friend.
Here are a few ways to help a friend dealing with online sexual exploitation and abuse:
- Reach out: let your friend know you’re worried. You can say, “I care about you and I want to help you.”
- Don’t take it personally: don’t get upset if your friend isn’t ready to talk about it. Knowing that you care may be enough for now.
- Be a team: offer to help your friend speak to a safe adult (a teacher, principal, parent/caregiver, etc.) when they’re ready. Don’t push the person. You can also give your friend Kids Help Phone’s number and offer to call a counsellor together.
- Go to a safe adult: if you’re concerned about your friend’s safety and well-being, it’s important to involve a safe adult.
- Take care of yourself: being a good friend can be challenging and you may need support. Try to think of a safe adult you can speak to about your feelings such as a teacher, coach or parent/caregiver.