Victoria police officers are wearing fuchsia-coloured ribbons to mark Stop Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth Awareness Week, March 5 to 11.
It has been 14 years since the B.C. government first commemorated the event, in support of the development of education, prevention, enforcement and intervention strategies that help youth.
"Sexual exploitation is the exchange of any sexual act with someone under the age of 18 for money, drugs, food, shelter, transportation, love, acceptance or any number of things," said Victoria police spokesperson Const. Mike Russell. "It's a problem that's not always seen or we may think it doesn't happen in our communities. Sadly it does happen around the CRD."
The department addresses this issue through its Mobile Youth Service Team, which visits schools in the Capital Region to speak with youth about sexual exploitation and drug awareness, for example.
The team was created 10 years ago.
"It's important for everyone in the community to be aware of the risks to our youth and support them throughout the challenges that they may face," Russell said.
To find out more, please watch a VicPD YouTube video at youtu.be/2By3s1162cw.