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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Welsh rugby help tackle child sexual exploitation

Written by The Editorial Team

The Welsh rugby squad have given their support to an all Wales campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation.
Working with North Wales Police, players from the current Wales squad produced two short films, in English and Welsh, aimed at making people more aware of the tell-tale signs that something may be wrong.
The films, which will be shown for the first time at the Wales v France RBS 6 Nations game at the Millennium Stadium on Friday, February 21, are part of a campaign called 'The More You Know' which is being run across all four Welsh police force areas.
Members of the squad including Sam Warburton, Rhys Priestland, George North and Mike Phillips help to deliver a powerful message that sexual exploitation is child abuse which puts young victims at huge risk of damage to their physical, emotional and psychological health.
A key message of the campaign is that many young people who are being abused don't realise that they are at risk and don't call for help and, whilst there is no stereotypical victim of exploitation, there are warning signs in children's behaviour that may indicate something is wrong.
Detective Superintendent John Hanson of North Wales Police said: "Similar to police forces across the UK, the four Welsh forces are committed to tackling child sexual abuse, helping victims and bringing offenders to justice.
"If people know what to look out for they can take steps to help the child. People young and old listen to their sporting icons and we are very grateful to the WRU for agreeing to help us deliver these important messages.”
The campaign is part of the work of Local Safeguarding Children's Boards across Wales and is supported by a number of national organisations.
WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said: "The WRU has developed a first class approach to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults within our game.
"But awareness is a key part of the hard work that is done in this field and we are proud to be able to support such an important campaign today.
"We are committed to evolving our approach to safeguarding and supporting our clubs through the WRU Club Operations Team. We have an experienced Safeguarding Advisor who is based in the Club Operations Team, and works alongside the 300 Club Safeguarding Officers across Wales.
"One of the key principles of effective safeguarding is working together and this project is a great example of this, as a collaboration between all of the safeguarding stakeholders across Wales: the four Welsh Police forces, the Local Safeguarding Children's Boards and the Welsh Rugby Union.”
Jeremy Rogers, WRU Club Operations Advisor – Safeguarding, added: "This project underlines our commitment to working together to ensure that we do everything we can to raise awareness on this important subject.
"The safeguarding officers in our clubs are all volunteers and they play an integral part in ensuring that we provide a safe and positive environment for the next generation of players and volunteers in Welsh rugby.
"The WRU supports these officers and, for example, next month we'll be delivering a series of safeguarding training events across Wales in conjunction with the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit.”
The More You Know also has a dedicated website with more information on what to look out for and what to do if you think something is not right.