About Us

It is called “CRAT” and it was formed by people who cared about the growing number of underage (under 19) youth who were trading and selling sex for survival. Sometimes it was for pimps who had recruited them to make money for them in return for parties and “good times”, but which led to addictions to drugs and alcohol and physical and emotional abuse. Many youth are now recruited and lured over the Internet.

CRAT is inclusive and the members come from the three levels of government, the health region, school districts, police forces, youth-serving agencies, parents, former sexually exploited youth and individuals with a commitment to helping solve the problem.

Everyone wanted to get into ACTION and research was done which became the basis for our action. CRAT meets from time to time, but is mainly concerned with helping raise community awareness about the issue of the sexual exploitation of youth and identifying gaps in service.  CRAT also sponsors presentations in schools by Taking Care of Ourselves, Taking Care of Others (tco2) put on by the Children of the Street Society.  In 2011 CRAT helped provide resources for a workshop on Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation.  A second workshop was held on April 19, 2012 at the Fleet Club, Esquimalt Road from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  A third workshop was held November 7, 2013 at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, 231 Regina, Victoria. A fourth was held September 24, 2015 at First Metropolitain Church, Quadra and Balmoral.  Since then, we have worked with the Inter-Cultural Association to put on similar workshops.

CRAT has now been in operation for almost 20 years. Among the concrete changes we have seen in that time:

  • Establishment of a full-time Youth Outreach Team,  who devote full time to working with sexually exploited youth.  At this time this Team, the Mobile Youth Support Team (MYST) consists only of one Police Officer who works on a regional basis.
  • Establishment of a network of six “safe homes”, where young people who are ready to break away from a life of sexual exploitation can live safely.
  • We bring over from the lower Mainland an interactive presentation called “Taking Care of Ourselves, Taking Care of Others” (tco2).  Although they do the presentations for free, we cover the costs of travel, meals and accommodations while they are in the Greater Victoria area.
  • Cooperation and collaboration between the five municipal, two RCMP and military police forces in the Capital Region. The needs of sexually exploited youth and parents and caregivers are much better served because of the steps that have been taken to achieve this.
  • The issue of youth sexual exploitation has become one that is openly discussed in many situations within the Capital Region and safety from predators on the Internet is another education opportunity that CRAT is undertaking.