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YWCA Canada and MediaSmarts launch a new young woman-centred resource for adults

7 February 2017

Today, on Safer Internet Day, MediaSmarts and YWCA Canada’s Project Shift: Creating a Safer Digital World for Young Women launch A Guide for Trusted Adults, a woman-centred digital literacy resource to help adults support girls and young women experiencing cyberviolence in a compassionate and non-judgemental way. 

The guide includes practical tips and tools for parents and guardians, family members, educators, health and wellness providers, law enforcement professionals and people who work in the Information, Communications and Technology sector. 

“This guide is a direct response to recommendations from girls and young women across the country who want the adults they trust to be more familiar with digital culture and ready to respond in a way that is supportive and non-judgemental or shaming when they need to start a difficult conversation or report an incident of cyberviolence,” said Raine Liliefeldt, Director Member Services and Development of YWCA Canada. 

The online resource presents an overview of the challenges girls face online and what to do when they come for help with online interactions and relationships, sexting, blocking users and reporting harassment. It includes plain language information on the laws related to cyberviolence, simple conversation starters for adults to build trust and learn about young women’s online lives, information on digital safety and more. 

“We’re glad to share our research-backed expertise about what girls face online, and how the adults in their live can support them with these issues,” said Jane Tallim, Co-Executive Director of MediaSmarts. “Our goal is to equip youth, educators, and families with the information they need to be both digitally literate and safe online, and this resource will help both girls and the trusted adults in their lives.”  

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Project Shift: Creating a Safer Digital World for Young Women is a national multi-year project, led by YWCA Canada and funded by the Status of Women Canada. YWCA Canada convened cross-sector stakeholders to work toward systemic change by developing and implementing strategies that prevent and eliminate cyberviolence against young women and girls. Project Shift establishes the need for a gender lens to understand violence online and makes recommendations for a range of public and private actors, from educational institutions to parents and ICTs to counsellors and police. www.projectshift.ca 

About YWCA Canada

YWCA Canada is the country's oldest and largest women's multi-service organization. Our 32 Member Associations serve women and girls in nine provinces and two territories. YWCA Canada is the nation's single largest provider of shelter to women and children fleeing violence, the second largest provider of childcare services, and an active member of the World YWCA. For more information visit www.ywcacanada.ca, find us on Twitter @YWCA_Canada or at facebook.com/ywcacanada.   

About MediaSmarts

MediaSmarts is a Canadian not-for-profit centre for digital and media literacy. Its vision is that young people have the critical thinking skills to engage with media as active and informed digital citizens. MediaSmarts offers hundreds of digital and media literacy resources for parents and educators on its website, mediasmarts.ca. 

For interviews:

Laura Tilley, Communications Manager, YWCA Canada, 416- 962-8881 x 233.

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