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Canadian Centre for Child Protection starts new campaign for cyberbullied teens

WINNIPEG The Winnipeg-based Canadian Centre for Child Protection has launched a new campaign to help teens who have been seriously impacted by the spread of sexual pictures.

In a news release, the centre says the social fallout from this kind of cyberbullying can leave youth feeling alienated and alone.

In response, the centre’s #ChangeTheStory campaign hopes to empower teens to take control of their own narrative and change how their story is told.

The campaign complements the revised NeedHelpNow.ca website, a national resource to help youth navigate the challenges of removing sexual pictures from the Internet and dealing with peers.

Lianna McDonald, the centre’s executive director, says they don’t want any more families having to face the suicide of a child due to such cyberbullying.

There have been some high-profile cases in Canada, including the suicide in 2012 of 15-year-old Amanda Todd and the death of Rehtaeh Parsons, who was taken off life support in April 2013 after a suicide attempt.

The 17-year-old girl’s family says she was sexually assaulted in 2011 and then subjected to months of online bullying.

Todd had exposed herself while on a webchat and the image was used to blackmail her into putting on another “show’’ online. She eventually posted a heartbreaking, nine-minute video online detailing her torment before committing suicide.

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