Adolescent – a person up to the age of 19 (as defined by the UN)7
Chatroom – a location online that allows multiple users to communicate electronically with each other in real time, as opposed to delayed time with e-mail2
Child sexual exploitation – child coerced to take part in sexual activity in exchange for something (ex: food, drugs, affection, gifts)7
Cyberbullies/cyberbullying – willful and repeated harm inflicted through the medium of electronic communication.
Deepfake – using artificial intelligence to manufacture realistic (often sexually explicit) videos of someone
Disclosure – when a child informs someone that harassment or abuse has occurred5
Dissociation – symptom of trauma that involves separation from main body of consciousness5
DM/DM’s – A way of describing direct messaging. A private message on a social media platform.
Doxxing – exposing a person’s address, phone, and/or other sensitive information online for purposes of harassment and stalking
Duty to report – anyone with reasonable suspicions that a child is in need of protection must report it to a child protection service4
Flashback – sudden, vivid memory of a traumatic event5
Grooming – when a perpetrator builds rapport or promotes certain behaviours, with the intention of sexually abusing the child in the future5
Harassment – conduct intended to violate the dignity of a person (purpose), or can be interpreted as offensive or intimidating (effect)professional sexual exploitation – sexual actions by professionals and volunteers within a helping relationship7
Intimate violence – violence committed by someone familiar to the victim5
Juvenile sex offender – a person under the age of 18 who under their national law been convicted of sexual offenses7
Minor – every human under the age of eighteen-years unless under applicable law to the person, majority is attained earlier7
Online enticement of children – communicating with someone believed to be a child through the internet, with the intent of online exploitation7
Online Luring – a situation where an individual communicates with a young person through technology (texting, IM, SMS, etc.) to make it easier to commit a specific sexual offence against that young person3
Resilience – ability to recover from trauma. Having just a few healthy relationships greatly increases resilience-building potential5
Sexting – cell phone, computer and other mobile device users – often teens and ‘tweens’ – create and exchange provocative messages and nude, sexual images of themselves using their cell phone’s built-in digital camera and text messaging capabilities2
Catfishing – using a fake profile or pretending to be someone else (or both) to get a target to share personal information or become romantically involved2
Sextortion – using sexual images to blackmail, humiliate, or get revenge on someone2
Sex tourism – sexual exploitation (often involving children) in the context of travel and tourism1
Stranger Danger – a phrase popularized by PSA’s in the 1980s. There has been a conscious shift away from this term to discourage children to blindly trust adults they somewhat know5
Pedophile/Child Predator – person with primary or exclusive sexual preference to prepubescent children, distinguished from child sexual abuser, who have acted on their preferences6
Survivor – a term used instead of victim to promote resilience. Only use this language after an individual self-identifies with this word7
Text bombing – sending a large number of text messages to a person at one time so that they can’t use their device8
Victim – an individual who has experienced violence or trauma. Only use this language after an individual self-identifies with this word. see: survivor7
Victim identification – detailed analysis of images and videos to locate and rescue child sexual abuse victims, particularly relevant in online child abuse7
- “Appropriate Terminology.” Interpol, Accessed 20 March 2021.
- “Glossary of terms.” eSafety Commissioner, Accessed 20 March 2021.
- Moss, Stephanie. “Sexual exploitation and Trafficking of Children and Youth in Canada.” Children of the Street, Accessed 20 March 2021.
- “Reporting child abuse and neglect.” Ontario Ministry of Children, 13 June 2019.
- “Secret Survivors.” Ping Chong and Company, Accessed 20 March 2021.
- “Terminology.” ATSA. Accessed 20 March 2021.
- “Terminology Guidelines for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.” Interagency Working Group on Sexual Exploitation of Children, 28 Jan. 2016.
- “Text Bomb: What Parents Should Know About This Cyberbullying Sidekick.” Visions Treatment Centers, 14 July 2020, visionsteen.com/text-bomb-parents-cyberbullying-sidekick.