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Swansea social worker recognised for tackling online sex abuse

A Swansea social worker’s efforts to prevent young people with learning difficulties falling prey to online sexual predators was praised at BASW Cymru’s Social Work Awards.

Claire Page, a member of Swansea Council’s child disability team, was among those nominated for an award at the event for her work in recognsing and supporting vulnerable young victims of internet-based sexual harassment.

She decided to do something about it and created workshops aimed at informing youngsters of the dangers and how to avoid them.

“I had worked with several young people that have been victims of sexual exploitation themselves online,” said Ms Page.

“So I took on some training and got the idea that these young people really need to be aware of the dangers of being online.

“It can be cyber bullying, young people being encouraged to expose themselves or being lured into sexual favours. Or it can even be financial exploitation with people trying to get money off them.”

During the workshops, the young people are shown DVDs highlighting the dangers of online grooming, followed by interactive discussions and question and answer sessions.

One of the DVDs is based on a real-life scenario where a victim who believed she was talking to a female online ended up being sexually assaulted by a man in his 40s.

Claire’s work was praised at BASW Cymru’s Social Work Awards where she was presented with a certificate of achievement under the Innovative Social Work category.