CROWDS gathered at Newport's Civic Centre today in support of a campaign to stamp out the sexual exploitation of children and young people.

The Freedom for the Children march had been set up by Keri Wyatt and Adele Purchase and was the first of its kind in Wales.

The pair, both survivors of sexual abuse, were inspired to hold the event after becoming aware of similar marches being held in England.

The aim of the walk was to raise awareness of child exploitation and human trafficking.

Ms Wyatt began the event by speaking of her experiences of growing up after having suffered sexual abuse.

More survivors also recounted their experiences to a crowd which offered support and positivity back.


"The amount of support we’ve received from local business is so overwhelming," Ms Wyatt said.

South Wales Argus:

"We’ve had our banner donated to us from JP prints and signs in Blaina, a minibus to take us to the event from Giffys Taxis in Abertillery." She said that statistics have shown that one in 20 children are affected by exploitation.

"When you think of that amount, that is basically one child in every school classroom," she said.

"We need to make a stand against child exploitation and human trafficking as abusers come from all walks of life.

"We want to raise awareness that it can happen to anyone. Freedom for the children."