South Molton RUFC acknowledges its’ responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in rugby at South Molton RUFC from harm. South Molton RUFC confirms that it adheres to the Rugby Football Union’s Safeguarding Policy and the procedures, practices and guidelines. A child or young person is anyone under the age of 18 engaged in any rugby union activity. Where a 17year old player is playing in the adult game every reasonable precaution will be taken to ensure their safety and well-being are also protected.

THE KEY PRINCIPLES of the RFU Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults Policy are that:

• The welfare of the child, young person or vulnerable adult is, and must always be, paramount to any other consideration
• All participants regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, culture, size, shape, language or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse or harm
• All allegations or suspicions of abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately
• Working in partnership with other organisations, statutory agencies, parents, career’s, children and young people is essential for the welfare of children and young people.

South Molton RUFC recognises that all children and young people have the right to participate in sport in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment whilst at the same time being protected from abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice. South Molton RUFC recognises that this is the responsibility of everyone involved, in whatever capacity, at the club. South Molton RUFC’s Safeguarding Policy policy is based on the RFU’s Safeguarding Policy and follows RFU guidance:

• RFU Safeguarding Policy
• RFU Welfare of Young People Policy Guidelines
• RFU Anti Bullying Booklet
• RFU Guidelines On Injury Reporting
• RFU Safeguarding – Touring With Children

The Club has appointed Dave Williams as Safeguarding Officer.
Dave can be contacted by email:

All our coaches on appointment by the club, complete a DBS check and follow the club’s code of conduct. All volunteers are expected to follow the guidelines as set by the club’s Safeguarding Policy and the RFU Safeguarding Policies and Procedures. It is the full responsibility of all Club Members, Coaches, Referees, Supporters and Players to uphold this policy.

Recognising abuse, bullying and poor practice - Guide

It is important to recognise the signs and indicators of abuse and to be aware of how it should be dealt with.

A child may be being abused or bullied if they:

• Change their usual routine;
• Begin to be disruptive during sessions;
• Become withdrawn anxious or lacking in con dence;
• Have possessions going missing;
• Become aggressive or unreasonable;
• Start stammering or stop communicating;
• Have unexplained cuts or bruises;
• Start bullying other children;
• Are frequently dirty, hungry or inadequately dressed;
• Display sexual behaviour inappropriate for their age;
• Seem afraid of parents or career’s;
• Do not want to attend training or club activities, or even leave the club;
• Stop eating and/or;
• Are frightened to say what’s wrong.

One of these signs on its own is very unlikely to be an indicator of abuse. However, cumulatively they should be taken seriously. Members of the staff and volunteers need to be aware of these possible signs and always report any concerns to the CSO.
Types of abuse. There are four main types of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional and neglect. Bullying is an additional type of abuse often encompassing aspects of the other four categories. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly or may be responsible for abuse by failing to prevent another person harming that child.

Physical abuse Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Examples of physical abuse in sport include extreme physical punishments; forcing a child into training and competition that exceeds the capacity of his or her immature and growing body or limitations of a disability; assaulting a person; or where the child is given drugs to enhance performance or in the case of a child, delay puberty.

Sexual abuse Sexual abuse involves forcing a child to take part in sexual activities, which may involve inappropriate touching, penetrative or non-penetrative sexual acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual photographic or online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Emotional abuse Emotional abuse is the persistent maltreatment of a child, such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on their development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed. These may include
interactions that are beyond the child developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing them from participating in normal social interaction. Emotional abuse may involve a child seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another as well as serious bullying, causing children to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may also occur alone. Examples of emotional abuse in sport include subjecting children to constant criticism, name-calling, and sarcasm or bullying. It could also include their regular exclusion from an activity, non-selection for a team, failing to rotate squad positions or more subtle actions such as staring at or ignoring a child. Putting players under consistent pressure to perform to unrealistically high standards is also a form of emotional abuse.

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child ’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of their health or development. Neglect may involve a parent failing to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment), failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, or to ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers) or to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child ’s basic emotional needs. Examples of neglect in sport could include: not ensuring children are safe; exposing them to undue cold or heat or unsuitable weather conditions, or exposing them to unnecessary risk of injury.

Bullying is often considered to be a fifth type of abuse but when it does occur it usually has elements of one or more of the four categories identified. The bully can be a parent who pushes too hard, a coach or manager with a ‘win at all costs’ attitude or another intimidating child. It should also be recognised that bullying can take place in the virtual world of social networking sites, emails or text messages. If bullying does occur, it should not be ignored and the victim should be supported through what can be a traumatic experience. Bullying will not just go away. Bullying takes many forms but ultimately it is the perception of the victim that determines whether or not they are being bullied and not the intention of the bully.

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