Teenage rugby club receives 'overwhelming' response to women's safety tweet

A rugby club for teenagers in Carmarthenshire has received an "overwhelming" response after tweeting to ask how they could play a part in helping women and girls to feel safe.

Kidwelly RFC Under-15s coach Julian Lloyd wrote on the social networking site: 'OK, serious question here. We have 19 boys who we have some sort of influence over. How do we help prevent violence against women?'

The tweet has received nearly 3,000 likes, as well as hundreds of retweets and comments.

The club is now hoping other organisations will follow their lead by helping to educate boys and men about women's safety.

Mr Lloyd told ITV News: "I'm on Twitter, I'm thinking about the boys as well, and I kind of put the two together and I thought - well, we're in a position to do something here. We can perhaps effect a bit of a culture change around the way men speak about women in those environments.

"Hopefully that can lead to something wider in the boys' lives, and enable them to influence others on the subject.

"We've got a cracking bunch of lads here - they really are a good bunch of lads and they've surprised me so many times. There's so many stories of where they've done really good things for other people. But it's just giving them the tools and the confidence to say, 'Look, mate - that's wrong. You don't say that. You don't act in that way'."

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Shortly after the initial tweet, Mr Lloyd tweeted again to thank followers for the "overwhelming and humbling" response.

"We have always seen our 'mission' in this team here to develop resilient, good men who will be a credit to themselves and their families and communities," he added.

"They are good people trying to find their way in the world. We want to equip them with the tools to stand up for themselves and challenge injustice where they can."

The murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa are among a number of violent deaths that have galvanised concerns over women's safety, with thousands sharing their experiences and fears in the aftermath.

Other recent murders of women in public spaces include the killings of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry.

Figures suggest as many as nine in ten women have been harassed or assaulted in public.

This month, a leading domestic violence organisation told ITV Wales news that violence towards women is "endemic across society" and real social change is needed to tackle the problem.

Speaking on October 1, Sara Kirkpatrick, chief executive of Welsh Women's Aid, told ITV News: "What we have to realise is that women lose their lives at the hands of men far more frequently than just Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard. It is endemic across society. We know how big this problem is. What do we do to change it?

"We need real, social change. The recent narrative around how women should protect themselves on the street suggests that the focus is on women to do better to make themselves safer, instead of saying: 'Why do we have a culture that requires women to adapt their behaviour?' What does that say about our streets? We should all be safe to walk on our streets."