The Abbotsford Community Action Team hosts its annual rally on Tuesday, March 5 against the sexual exploitation of children and youth. (Submitted photo)

Rally against sexual exploitation of children and youth

Event takes place Tuesday, March 5 in Abbotsford

The Abbotsford Community Action Team (ACAT) hosts its annual public rally on Tuesday, March 5 against the sexual exploitation of children and youth.

The rally takes place during the provincial Stop the Exploitation of Children and Youth Awareness Week (March 4 to 10).

The rally begins at 3:30 p.m. with remarks from Sheila Lum – chair of ACAT and a youth support worker at Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) – and Abbotsford Police Const. Mary Boonstra.

Those who would like to join the rally are invited to meet at the ACS office at 32700 George Ferguson Way.

Participants will walk down to Gladwin Road and up to South Fraser Way. The event will conclude with refreshments.

Community members can also show their support by wearing fuchsia ribbons.

Ribbons are available at the front desk of ACS at 2420 Montrose Ave. while supplies last.

The colour fuchsia was chosen because it is a combination of red – representing red-light districts – and purple, which is the provincial colour for violence prevention.

“The rally is an annual reminder that this problem isn’t going away,” Lum said.

“Every week, I work with youth who are being exploited. Sometimes, they’re not even aware they’re being exploited until we teach them what a healthy relationship looks like.”

Sexual exploitation is the exchange of a sexual act for money, drugs, food, shelter, transportation, love, acceptance or any other consideration.

A report by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General says, “victims of sexual exploitation include children and youth of different ages, genders, abilities, sexual orientations, and cultural and economic backgrounds in both rural and urban areas.”

The report also shares that the average age when youth are first exploited is 13 to 15 years old.

Lum reports seeing even younger clients.

“Exploitation doesn’t always come from expected sources in traditional ways. Sometimes girls will recruit their friends in order to keep their exploiters/perpetrators happy, and the parents have no idea,” she said.

Parents, teachers and friends are encouraged to be on the lookout for youth who have unexplained money, cellphones, or gifts. They may have bruises, become withdrawn or moody, or be protective about relationships.

Anyone who suspects someone is being sexually exploited is asked to contact the Abbotsford Police.

The Youth Resource Centre at ACS can also provide support and resources.

For more information on the rally or ACAT, visit or send an email to

Just Posted

Abbotsford airport raking in millions, two decades after being bought for $10

City-owned Abbotsford International Airport made $3.8 million last year

Cyclist struck by vehicle in Abbotsford

Incident took place Friday morning on Bevan Avenue

Man displaced by Abbotsford fire can’t find new place to live

High rental prices and low vacancy rates make search difficult

Fixing Abbotsford’s bus system means cutting some services first, council told

Planners say increasing reliability requires service cuts until new buses arrive in 2020

Purple Day supports epilepsy awareness

Event on March 26 includes walk/run in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Bentley nearly causes crash going wrong way on Coquihalla

Bentley driver allegedly travelling at high speed

WATCH: Popular Glow festival faces cancellation in dispute over farm land

Langley’s Darvonda Nurseries received a compliance assessment notice from the ALC on March 5.

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

South Surrey mother guilty of second-degree murder in death of daughter

Lisa Batstone killed eight-year-old Teagan in December 2014

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Most Read