Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this assessment needed?

This assessment is needed to support the growing development of virtual spaces and how youth engage with them. Lloydminster Sexual Assault Services (LSAS) noticed an increase in online sexual violence, and excessive online usage over the last few years, contributing to misinformed beliefs about consent, dating, relationships, and the general treatment of others. To respond to this increase, LSAS applied for funding to assess the community (parents/caregivers, and youth themselves) on their understanding, knowledge, and preparedness to have conversations about virtual spaces. The assessment will support further development right in our community for supportive programming and educational resources for families.

What do you mean by “youth at risk”?

Youth at risk can be any youth. This project considers that all youth might be exposed to virtual spaces where risk to mental, physical, and emotional selves is possible. With the speed of how technology advances, all youth may require additional support, a caring adult, or resources on how to navigate situations that seem challenging, curious, or out of their control.

What possible issues are youth having with virtual spaces in our community?

According to preliminary research and data collection on this topic, and the wider scopes within, youth accessing virtual spaces have identified the following:
Increased mental health concerns, online bullying and/or harassment, in-person bullying and/or harassment as a result of online exchanges, frequent use of virtual spaces at the detriment of other areas of life, misunderstanding consent, sex, and relationships due to explicit content influences, sexual harassment, online sexual violence, perpetration and/or victimization of others, witnessing any of the above occur and feeling lost about what to do next, unanswered questions and curiosities.

Tell us about the research team and the Advisory Committee.

The Advisory Committee is a group of community partners, organizations, and individuals that work directly with children and youth who identified an interest in the topic of virtual spaces, and effective ways to navigate them. The Committee is comprised of the following organizations: Lloydminster Mental Health & Addictions, Lloydminster Youth Justice Association, Lloydminster Sexual Assault Services, Saskatchewan Health Authority, Lakeland College, Alberta Health Services, Full Circle Strategies, Alberta Community Corrections, Lloydminster Catholic School Division, Lloydminster Public School Division, Lloydminster Interval Home Society, Lloydminster Learning Council, Lloydminster RCMP, and various local parents who are invested in the health and wellness of Lloyd’s youth.

Are virtual spaces actually an issue in our community?

Virtual spaces are everywhere, and the City of Lloydminster is no exception.


Can youth just “figure it out” on their own?

When we think of youth, their brains are not fully developed until approximately age 25-27 years. Youth requires caring and nurturing adults and pathways to learning about social skills, budgets, school subjects, driving, meal planning, exercise, and more. The same type of support is required for virtual spaces. The tricky part is that many parents of youth did not have the same type of access to technology and virtual spaces as youth do today – times are certainly different. We might feel they can figure it out; however, the amount of exposure, content, time, and energy put into virtual spaces requires additional critical thinking skills, conversations, and openness to healthy interactions online.

How will the information collected be utilized?

The information collected from the Adult and Youth Community Assessments will be analyzed by the Research Team. From there, the Research Team will write a Community Recommendations Report on how to support parents/caregivers, and youth at risk, future project plans, and funding opportunities. The report will be utilized to apply for a funding grant. The potential funding will support the development of community-based programming and resources for youth and families to access these topics.

Who is funding this project?

This project is funded by the Government of Canada under the Community Services Recovery Fund and the United Way Centraide.