As children we had no voice and no power; school administrators and adult bystanders failed to protect us. As adult survivors, we feel strongly that we must speak out on behalf of current students.
Child Sexual Abuse and Victimization by K-12 School Personnel in Canada
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s (C3P) new research report has found more than 500 students who were sexually victimized (or allegedly victimized) by school personnel between 2017–2021. This is a follow up to our 2018 report, the most comprehensive study ever done in Canada of child sexual abuse committed by school personnel.
The findings and recommendations for action are intended to better equip key decision-makers in government and professional teacher associations to make effective, evidence-based changes that foster safe, healthy, and thriving learning environments within schools.
Read the Report
- 252 current or former school personnel working in Canadian K-12 schools committed (or were accused of committing) offences of a sexual nature against students between 2017–2022. Over the same time period, 38 personnel were criminally charged for child sexual abuse material-related offences — raising the total of offending personnel to 290;
- When the gender could be identified, 71% of victims were female and 29% male;
- Of offending school personnel where a secondary role or profession is identified, 74% were coaches; and
- Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook were the platforms most commonly used to facilitate victimization.
Stemming both from our extensive prior work in this area, including our 2018 study, and our close collaboration with Stop Educator Child Exploitation (SECE) — a grassroots organization composed of survivors of sexual abuse and violence at the hands of school personnel in Canadian schools — our key policy recommendations are that all provinces and territories:
- Establish fully independent bodies in all provinces tasked with receiving complaints (from the public, parents, students, and school personnel), conducting investigations, the adjudication process, and determining appropriate sanctions;
- Ensure disciplinary records are universally made public in all provinces and that the information contained in them is centralized for the purpose of policy and public interest research;
- Mandate the completion of evidence-based child protection training programs for all school personnel, including administrators in all provinces;
- Invest more in trauma-informed victim supports for students who are victimized within school environments.
This abuse has impacted us in terrible and life-altering ways. After discovering how similar our experiences were, despite being victimized by different teachers in different schools, provinces, and decades, we realized how similar and endemic sexual predation by school teachers is … We decided to share our experiences in order to put a spotlight on the danger in our schools, and to educate the public and policymakers.
SECE has released an independent report that expands on their recommendations and cites their own findings and perspectives as survivors of school personnel abuse.