Pupils at Glyn Derw High School in Ely, Cardiff were some of the first in South Wales to hear a ‘Safer Relationships’ assembly as part of the Home Office ‘Would you see rape?’ teenage rape prevention campaign today (Friday 7th December).
Delivered by School Community Police Officers from South Wales Police, more assemblies are being held in schools and colleges this month in support of the Home Office campaign.
The aim of the campaign is to prevent teenagers from becoming victims and perpetrators of sexual violence and abuse, encouraging teenagers to re-think their views of rape, sexual assault, violence and abuse and direct them to places for help and advice.
Today’s assembly was delivered by PC Julia Smith, and focused on examples of abuse, warning signs of abuse, and what help is available for pupils.
Julia is one of many School Community Police Officers who, as part of the All Wales School Liaison Core Programme partially funded by Welsh Government, provides primary and secondary school lessons on the law and how to stay safe.
“Young people come under peer pressure and may be coerced into doing something they feel they’ve got to do rather than what they want.
“We want young people to feel empowered to make informed decisions that are the correct and right choices.”
One of the Home Office ‘Would you see rape?’ adverts was also shown to pupils during the assembly.
Cameron Hurrell, a Year 11 pupil at the school said:
“I thought the advert was realistic. I can imagine someone would want to turn back the clock and stop themselves doing that.”
Lauren Blackmore, also in Year 11, said:
“I thought the assembly was really useful. If I saw anything like this happening I’d let my friends know I’m there for them.”
Martin Matthews, Head Teacher of Glyn Derw High School said:
“We don’t want to tread water on this issue. With changing technology things can quickly escalate and if our pupils know the signs and what constitutes right and wrong, they will be more likely to report their concerns.
“We value the support and participation of South Wales Police and other partners in communicating personal and social issues to pupils.”
PC Smith added:
“Our key message to pupils is you have the right to say no.”
Anyone with information about abuse or sexual violence should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
In an emergency, always dial 999.
For more information about the campaign, or help, support and advice, visit www.direct.gov.uk/thisisabuse.
For information about the All Wales School Liaison Programme, visit www.schoolbeat.org.uk