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Why NRL referees are wearing purple socks this weekend

This year the NRL Match Officials Squad will once again be lending their support to Australia's leading Child Protection Charity Bravehearts, as part of their annual White Balloon Day campaign. 

This will be the 11th consecutive year of partnership between this NRL officiating squad and Bravehearts – the group’s longest consistent charity partnership.

The Match Officials will wear purple socks in Round 25 in order to support and raise awareness for the Bravehearts charity.

Bravehearts was founded by Hetty Johnston, AM in 1997 as a result of an incredibly personal and traumatic experience. Hetty's young daughter Kayleen disclosed that her grandfather had been sexually abusing her. When Hetty went in search of an organisation to support and guide her through the complex and harrowing process that would follow, no such thing was available. This led Hetty to form Bravehearts, to provide advice and support to those affected by child sexual assault.

Bravehearts now employs more than 65 people across Australia, providing child protection training and education initiatives, specialist child sexual assault counselling and support services, as well as research and reform campaigns to prevent child sexual assault in our society.

In Australia, research suggests that 1 in 5 children will be impacted by child sexual assault before reaching the age of 18. This equates to approximately 1 child every 10 minutes.

Purple is the colour of courage.

You can find more information on Bravehearts by visiting their website www.bravehearts.org.au