New program designed to empower youth and prevent human trafficking in Durham
Mon, Jul 24, 2023 12:00 PM GMT
Victim Services of Durham Region has launched a new program to support youth in the region.
TeenIRL (In Real Life) Empowerment and Prevention Program, in partnership with Durham Regional Police Kids Safety Village, Durham Region School Boards, and Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child and Family Services, ushers in a new era of comprehensive education and support for youth in the region.
The Teen IRL program is receiving $180,500 over 24 months from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) and $15,000 in additional funding from the Town of Whitby Mayor’s Community Development Fund.
This initiative aims to to equip students in Grades 7-8 with essential knowledge and skills to navigate the challenges of the digital world.
“Today marks a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to safeguarding the well-being of our youth,” said Krista MacNeil, Executive Director of Victim Services of Durham Region. “The Teen IRL Empowerment and Prevention Program will provide students with the tools they need to make informed decisions, build healthy relationships, and navigate potential risks in the digital age. We are empowering our young people to thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.”
“The Teen IRL Empowerment and Prevention Program is an invaluable resource that will play a vital role in enhancing the safety and well-being of our youth,” said Durham Regional Police Chief Peter Moreira. “With the advancement of technology and increased accessibility to youth online, we continue to see an increase in crimes such as sextortion and human trafficking. The targeted victims are getting younger. Now is the time that we need to adapt and focus on prevention”.
The Teen IRL Empowerment and Prevention Program aims to educate students on a wide range of essential topics, including violence prevention, healthy relationships, consent, cyber-safety, and human trafficking. By offering an immersive learning experience, the program will provide students with practical tools and knowledge to protect themselves and their peers from various forms of exploitation.
For more information about Victim Services of Durham Region and the Teen IRL Empowerment and Prevention Program, click here.
Photo courtesy of DRPS