The anonymous online survey — meant for Islanders between 12 and 25 — is part of a project aiming to better inform youth and caregivers about the legal elements of cyberbullying and sexting. It asks participants about their experiences with sexting.
“We had a surprising uptake in responses to the survey,” said Ellen Mullally, executive director of the the organization.
Mullally said the survey has been live for about a week and a half and over 300 people have responded.
“What it tells me is people want to talk about it,” she said.
Our approach is not a moralistic approach, it is not a you should do it you should not.— Ellen Mullally, Community Legal Information
The survey will remain online until July 31 because there is no data available on this topic specific to P.E.I., Mullally said.
“There is real gap in the information about young people’s activity, about sexting and cyberbullying,” Mullally said.
“It has become a norm of life for many people but it is not really discussed publicly very much.”
The survey is being done to help develop workshops the association hopes to be able to roll out in the fall about sexting, cyberbullying and the criminal code.
“Our approach is not a moralistic approach, it is not a you should do it, you should not. It’s really just letting people know how they can go about it more safely and in a way that will protect them,” she said.
Mullally said some of the risks to avoid include revenge porn.
Revenge porn typically means posting an intimate image of a former partner online without consent to cause embarrassment.
P.E.I. recently passed the Intimate Images Protection Act and Mullally said she is happy to see that step being taken by the province.
“We were very happy to see that protecting individuals and providing more protection and more expectations of privacy.”
Mullally said if an intimate image of a person makes it online it can have negative effects on things like employment opportunities.
“We think it is really critical to educate everyone, but with this project, young people about how to protect themselves and the intimate images they may have out there; or how to get things down also,” she said.
The survey closes on July 31 and anyone who wants to take part can find it on the Community Legal Information Facebook page.
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