Statement on Enfield-Based Child Pornography Charges

February 9, 2021 – Halifax

YWCA Halifax stands with children and youth who have been subjected to commercial sexual exploitation in all its forms, including child pornography alongside of the issue of human trafficking.  Any time children and youth are lured, recruited, and groomed for their participation in the commercial sex trade, it is a form of violence and abuse against children. 

In response to the Enfield-based case announced today, YWCA Halifax and our Trafficking and Exploitation Services System (TESS) partners are standing by and ready to support any children, youth and families affected as well as any others that may or may not be revealed publicly.  If you need supports or services please reach out to us or any of the 70+ partnering agencies of the TESS Community of Practice.  You can contact us at

We know that many in Nova Scotia are reeling from the recent revelation that someone close to them stands accused of having participated in the production of child pornography.  We would like to remind Nova Scotians that, unfortunately, the commercial sexual exploitation of children and youth is widespread.   Some people seen as community leaders or who have positions of power, trust and authority are using their standing and privilege in the community to sexually exploit children and youth.    

YWCA Halifax asserts that:

  1. We need to believe children and youth who come forward with allegations against community leaders and especially those with access to vulnerable young people.  It is only through belief that allegations can be investigated and processed through the criminal justice system.
  2. We need to stop thinking that perpetrators of the commercial sexual exploitation of children and youth fit a particular profile or come from certain backgrounds or communities. They can be anyone.  If we allow our biases and stereotypes to guide our judgement, we may miss red flags. 
  3. We need to support community-based approaches that will keep our children and youth safe while they are accessing programs and services in community.  This includes better screening of adults who have access to youth as volunteers or professionals, improving systems of reporting and creating a system of response when people do come forward.
  4. We need to have difficult conversations about the social and cultural underpinnings that normalize the sexual objectification of children and youth.  These are conversations we must have with our family members, friends, neighbours, and colleagues.
  5. We need, together, to address the needs of young people that make them vulnerable to predation, including poverty, racism, homelessness, abuse, and colonialism.

If you are a member of the community that is feeling shocked and uneasy at how close you came to a perpetrator of sexual exploitation, please take this opportunity to learn more about the problem of CSEC.  Join us in becoming part of the solution by raising awareness, believing victims, and supporting the work of the many community agencies across the province working with vulnerable youth and families affected by this issue.    

In solidarity,

Miia Suokonautio, Executive Director and the team at YWCA Halifax