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12-year-old boy in B.C. dies by suicide in response to online sextortion, what you need to know about sextortion

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Tragic news from British Columbia as a 12-year-old boy, Carson Cleland, took his own life on October 12th after falling victim to online sextortion. The incident sheds light on the increasing prevalence of such cybercrimes, especially among young people. Let’s delve into the details.

The Heartbreaking Incident

In a devastating turn of events, Carson Cleland’s family is grappling with the loss of their 12-year-old son, who died by suicide as a result of online sextortion. Prince George RCMP revealed that Carson’s tragic end occurred on October 12th, highlighting the severe consequences of online sexual exploitation.

Rising Cases of Sextortion

The Prince George RCMP reports a concerning surge in sextortion cases, particularly affecting youth aged 13 to 18. So far this year, they have received 62 reports, surpassing the total from 2022. The tragic incident emphasizes the urgency of addressing the dangers of online activities, especially for vulnerable young individuals.”

A Plea from Carson’s Family Carson’s parents, Ryan Cleland and Nicola Smith, are urging parents to be more proactive in monitoring their children’s online activities. They emphasize the need for open conversations about online safety, even if it means intruding on a child’s privacy. The family hopes their heartbreaking experience can serve as a wake-up call for others.

The Alarming Trend

The alarming trend of online sexual abuse against children is on the rise, with a significant increase in cases involving teen boys. Stephen Sauer, director of Canada’s national youth tipline, Cybertip.ca, notes that approximately 90% of sextortion victims are young males. Experts highlight the importance of immediate action, including ceasing communication and reporting incidents to the authorities.”

Call for Awareness and Support Law enforcement, including Cpl. Jennifer Cooper, calls on parents to educate their children about the risks of online activities. Sextortion can have lifelong consequences, and discussions around these dangers need to be open and ongoing.

If you are the victim of sextortion, it is important that you stop all communication immediately with that person and do not give in to their demands. Deactivate the accounts that you are using to communicate with that person and, most importantly, reach out for help and report it. Call your local police and contact NeedHelpNow.ca and Cybertip.ca for support.

In Carson’s case, police said they are still looking for a suspect.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, various resources offer support.

In case of an emergency, please call 911. The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 — all offer ways for getting help if you, or someone you know, is suffering from mental health issues.

As we grapple with the tragic loss of Carson Cleland, it’s a stark reminder of the urgent need for increased awareness and proactive measures to protect our youth from the dangers lurking online. Let this heartbreaking incident be a catalyst for change and a united effort to ensure the safety and well-being of our children in the digital age.

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