The Bermuda Rugby Football Union (the “BRFU”) is the overall governing body for the sport of Rugby Union Football in Bermuda and is responsible for organizing all aspects of the sport locally. This includes youth and adult rugby, of both genders and all persuasions.
The BRFU is a full member of Rugby America North (“RAN”) regional body. RAN is one of the six World Rugby regional associations and is the governing body of the sixteen Unions in the Rugby Americas North region.
We aim to promote the defining character-building traits of rugby; Integrity, Passion, Solidarity, Discipline and Respect. These characteristics are collectively known as the World Rugby values and are incorporated within the World Rugby Playing Charter, a guiding document aimed at preserving rugby’s unique character and ethos both on and off the field of play.
In compliance with the Protecting Vulnerable Persons policy issued by the Bermuda Registry General, Bermuda Charities Commission and RAN, it is the policy of the BRFU to ensure the protection of vulnerable persons from all forms of abuse regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, health status or affiliation with crime. BRFU will comply with all policies and procedures including legally mandated reporting of suspected abuse or neglect of any person. This policy applies to all committee members, staff and volunteers.
Abusive behavior may be defined as intentionally causing injury or a series of injuries, neglect, sexual molestation and/or emotionally abusing another person. Abuse falls into four main categories;
- Emotional or verbal
- The BRFU strongly recommends all coaches and volunteers coming into contact with youth participants of our programs to complete vulnerable person training with the Saving Children and Revealing Secrets (SCARS) organization as soon as possible. In order to support this recommendation, the BRFU will endeavor to host SCARS training sessions for those persons who have not previously done so.
- All new executive committee members, volunteers and employees who have direct or indirect contact with vulnerable persons must be asked a question at the first meeting following their election to or appointment by the BRFU executive to ascertain their understanding of the mandatory response to vulnerable persons.
- Supervision of the implementation of this policy shall be the responsibility of the BRFU Executive Committee
- The Executive Committee shall publish for and provide to all BRFU members and volunteers a confidential process for reporting concerns about unacceptable and/or abusive behaviour towards vulnerable persons.
- All staff, volunteers and committee members shall complete annual training on protection of vulnerable populations that includes:
- what abuse is and how to spot abuse
- mandatory reporting requirements and procedures
- what “duty of care” means and how BRFU staff, volunteers and the Executive comply with the requirement
- how client confidentiality of vulnerable persons is addressed
- All volunteers and staff working with vulnerable persons are monitored and supervised, in particular, as it relates to one-on-one interactions between adults and children.
- The BRFU’s mandated reporting procedure is:
All employees are required to immediately report known or suspected abuse or neglect, orally, either by telephone or direct communication, followed by a written referral report to a duly constituted authority. BRFU has a responsibility to report without consulting or informing the parent or guardian of a minor.
- for persons 18 years of age and under, reporting is made to the Department of Child and Family Services or the Bermuda Police Service during non-working hours.
- for persons between 19 and 64 years of age, reporting is made to the Bermuda Police Service.
- for persons 65 years of age and over, with or without a disability, reporting is made to the Bermuda Police Service as well as to the Bermuda Government’s Ageing and Disability Services.
Where a BRFU staff member or volunteer is alleged to be responsible for the abuse, an internal investigation should be carried out by the BRFU Executive in a timely and confidential manner in order to ascertain whether additional reports should be made to the Bermuda Police Service. However, the internal investigation should not interfere with or prejudice any ongoing law enforcement or governmental investigation which may already be underway. All allegations will be taken seriously and responded to appropriately. This may require a referral to the relevant social or human service agency or the Bermuda Police Service. The results of such internal investigations shall be considered by the BRFU Executive, who will then decide whether further onward reporting of the results of the investigation to law enforcement is necessary.
The Honorary Secretary shall send notice to the Registry General and the Charity Commissioners indicating that a referral report was made and to which reporting authority. The BRFU shall not discharge, suspend, discipline, or penalize any employee, volunteer or officer solely for making a report of abuse or neglect – as long as such report is made in good faith.
- The BRFU’s Vehicle and Transportation Policy outlines the circumstances in which a vulnerable person can travel alone with a staff member, volunteer or committee member.
- Failure to comply with the Vulnerable Persons Protection Policy, specifically, will result in the following:
- The subject of the allegation may be confined to administrative responsibilities, placed on paid suspension, or required to suspend any engagement in BRFU service which involves direct client contact while the matter is being investigated.
- If a person is found guilty of intentionally causing injury or a series of injuries, neglect, sexual molestation, and/or emotional abuse, they will be summarily dismissed from BRFU service and the relevant file will be noted.
- If the person is found to be innocent of the alleged conduct, there will be an internal organizational review on a case by ‘case basis, to determine whether or not it is suitable for them to continue in direct service with clients or to continue in the provided board or volunteer service.
Relevant Phone Numbers:
The Department of Child and Family Services (Child Abuse Referral Hotline): (441) 278-9111
Police Headquarters: (441) 295-0011, alternately dial -211
Centre Against Abuse Hotline: (441) 297-8278
Ageing and Disability Services: (441) 292-7802