The Ontario Provincial Police just announced that they have reached a record-breaking number of charges for child pornography-related offences last month. 551 people have been charged in the month of November and 112 have been arrested. Those who have been arrested are facing multiple charges including sexual assault, luring, and the making and distribution of child pornography.
The Ontario Provincial Police reached out to the public about the issue over a Facebook Live video this morning, stating that this investigation has been ongoing since 2006 and the main goal is to protect children from “sexual exploitation on the internet,”. The Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploration on the Internet has completed 50,403 investigations and laid 20, 901 charges since 2006.
These charges can be laid for anything that is evidence of child sexual abuse, including the sharing of content. Through this month’s investigations, 55 victims have been rescued from the cycle of abuse that they were stuck in, the youngest victim only being three years old.
Out of those who have been charged in this record breaking month, 12 have been previously convicted of sexual abuse and many have come from very familiar settings. OPP Staff Dgt. Sharon Hanlon spoke out about this issue, stating, “Charged persons include former and present teachers, emergency personnel, we have members of our military, engineers, immediate family members of the victims,”.
One of the biggest issues that have been faced, according to Hanlon is that “We need to encourage people around us to listen to the kids. We hear by the survivor survey done by The Canadian Centre of Child Protection that on an average of three times children tell somebody and nobody believes them,”.
The OPP are stating that they are seeing victim getting younger every year, and they are working their hardest to stop all cases of child sexual abuse throughout Ontario. Investigations are ongoing and charges are still pending.
The OPP are truly local heroes to all the children they have been able to save so far throughout this continuing investigation.