THE Football Association of Wales and Welsh Government are aiming to tackle online sexual harassment with a new video that features several Wales players.

International footballers Joe Allen, Lily Woodham, Esther Morgan and Joe Morrell are featured in conversation in the new video, titled Calling Out: Online Sexual Harassment, in which they encourage young people to speak up about online sexual harassment and the importance of both men and boys to call out inappropriate behaviour.

The film promotes a culture of equality and respect and further advice is available for families, children and educators on Hwb, the digital teaching and learning platform for schools in Wales.

This is the first in a series of three videos from the FAW that will be published on Hwb, with conversations covering online misogyny, the importance of challenging attitudes and how to safely report inappropriate behaviour.

Wales and Swansea City player, Joe Allen, said: “It has been shocking to hear how many young girls and women are experiencing online sexual harassment. It has really shown that there is a need for more education on both the topic and scale of things.

“There is so much work to be done to put an end to this behaviour, but I hope that the conversations between myself and my Cymru teammates will encourage people to call out this behaviour and for those who may be suffering it, as tough as it may be, reporting it is vital.”

Jeremy Miles, the Welsh Government's minister for education and Welsh language, said: “Online sexual harassment has become an increasingly common and challenging issue and one that can have a huge impact on people subjected to it.

“The new video will equip our education practitioners with the tools to support important conversations with young people about the seriousness of the issue - what it looks like, how to report inappropriate behaviour and how to get further advice, via our Hwb platform for schools.  

“Our Welsh international footballers, with their unprecedented success on the field, are such strong role models for children and young people, so it’s fantastic to have them leading by example in speaking up about this issue.” 

Free Press Series: Lily Woodham and Joe Allen discussing online sexual harassment in a new video released by the FAW and Welsh Government.Lily Woodham and Joe Allen discussing online sexual harassment in a new video released by the FAW and Welsh Government.

Meanwhile FAW safeguarding and player welfare manager, Sian Jones, comments: “It is brilliant to see our Cymru male and female players coming together and using their platform to discuss this important issue.

“The FAW is committed to ensuring that young people are safe on and off the pitch and working with our players in their capacity as role models and key partners, such as Welsh Government, is critical in helping us achieve this. We want children and young people to feel comfortable to talk about matters such as online sexual harassment and know how to seek further support if needed.”

The Welsh Government has worked with Childnet International to publish age-appropriate learning materials to address online sexual harassment, Just a Joke, for nine to 12-year-olds, and Step up, speak up, for the 13-17 year age group. A training package is being developed to help teachers increase their confidence in addressing the issue.

Children and young people can also get advice about online sexual harassment, including what it looks like, how to report this behaviour and how to get help in the ‘Online issues and worries’ area of Hwb. The advice published in March was co-designed with children and young people and has been shaped by Welsh Government research into their online experiences and worries and some of the barriers to getting help.

The new film is available on the Welsh Government's Hwb platform.

  • This article originally appeared on our sister site The National.