Naivety

Ok, I was delivering a two day Designated Safeguarding Officer training at the start of the year and had a lovely mixed group of 15 delegates from faith groups, the military, charities, leisure and sports centres and underwriters. They were an engaging group with lots of energy too. I had a co-worker and was just recovering from the dreaded flu bug so welcomed the co working.

On the second day in the afternoon session, I was quite surprised by a comment a delegate made.  It was an awkward moment as it highlighted their personal value which was very naive.

We were discussing allegations against staff or volunteers and the person highlighted they only matched girls with female mentors and boys with male mentors in their organisation to reduce opportunities of abuse. The other 14 delegates were staring at me waiting for the ground to eat them up. I highlighted same sex relationships and cases of mentors and coaches befriending and abusing children same sex. The room was full of awkward silence and I reiterated the message to everyone that anyone could abuse regardless of their gender, race, sexuality, culture, religion, disability, class etc…

Phew! The delegate reflected on their comment and agreed with my point and felt their system needed to be updated to reflect the modern world!

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