The Abbotsford Community Action Team hosts its annual rally on Tuesday, March 10 against the sexual exploitation of children and youth. (Submitted photo)

Rally to be held against sexual exploitation of youth

Abbotsford Community Action Team holds event on Tuesday, March 10

The Abbotsford Community Action Team (ACAT) hosts their annual public rally on Tuesday, March 10 against the sexual exploitation of children and youth.

The rally begins at 3:30 p.m. with remarks by Wanda Phillips – a youth services team lead at Archway Community Services and ACAT member – and Const. Mary Boonstra with the Abbotsford Police Department.

Those who would like to join the rally are invited to meet at Archway’s 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.

“The rally is an opportunity to raise continued awareness that exploitation of youth is happening right here in our community,” Phillips said.

“Our hope with the rally is to increase understanding and promote community mobilization to address the issue.”

The public can also show their support by wearing fuchsia ribbons, which are available at the front desk of Archway at 2420 Montrose Ave. while supplies last.

ALSO READ: ‘I hate you’: Student tells former B.C. teacher who sexually exploited her

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.

March 9 to 15 is provincially recognized as the Stop the Exploitation of Children and Youth Awareness Week.

Now in its 22nd year, the week recognizes the importance of supporting communities to develop prevention, education, enforcement, and intervention strategies to address the sexual exploitation of children and youth.

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

According to a report by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, “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.

ALSO READ: Ottawa details $22 million plan to combat online child exploitation

“The face of exploitation has changed over the past number of years with the net being cast wider and affecting even younger youth,” Phillips said. “What’s scary is that most often young people aren’t even aware they are being exploited.”

She urges parents, teachers and friends 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 Archway Youth Resource Centre can also provide support and resources.

For more information on the rally or ACAT, contact Wanda Phillips at or visit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Goose in Abbotsford rescued after legs wrapped up in fishing line

Wildlife centre operator says people need to be more careful

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Van der Gulik, McLaren named to Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame

Hockey pro, softball umpire headlining the 2020 class, which will now be celebrated on Sept. 26

VIDEO: Abbotsford child celebrates seventh birthday with ‘car parade’

Friends and family surprise seven-year-old Gina Brar on April 2 birthday

Abbotsford Police use gold-wrapped BMW for latest anti-gang campaign

Program aims to pass on message that ‘All That Glitters is Not Gold’

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Most Read