The Victorian footballing community will rally together this weekend in support of a new state-wide AFL Victoria White Ribbon Round.
Don’t just sit on the Sidelines is the call to action for the round on August 4 and 5, reminding players, fans and coaches to stand up, speak out and act to stop violence against women.
Football clubs from 18 leagues from all levels of football across the state – from junior leagues to the Peter Jackson VFL, Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s and TAC Cup – will be supporting the round, which seeks to raise critical awareness and funds to prevent violence against women.
As part of the state-wide Round, Victorians are encouraged to show their support by taking part in an online social media campaign and taking the White Ribbon Oath to prevent men’s violence against women.
Via AFL Victoria’s partnership with White Ribbon Australia, teams are encouraged to drive respect and inclusion across their club and community through player and fan education, game day activities and fundraising to support programs in schools, workplaces and sporting clubs.
AFL Victoria CEO Steven Reaper said he is looking forward to the Victorian football community supporting the work of White Ribbon this weekend.
“This weekend AFL Victoria will be standing up, speaking out and acting to stop violence against women in our community,” Reaper said.
“Sport is a critical channel for raising awareness of the importance of respectful relationships across Australian communities.
“Millions of men, women, boys and girls are involved in sport at some point in their lives. It is so important that the prevention of men’s violence against women is incorporated to reach further into the community and highlight a sporting culture based on respect and inclusion.”
“Our regions and leagues do a fantastic job supporting players, teams and clubs who may be facing their own issues, and this is another example of the impact that football can have on the entire community.
White Ribbon Australia CEO, Tracy McLeod Howe, said “Sporting partnerships that deliver education and awareness programs are an important way to support clubs in instilling values of respect, equality and inclusion.
“They go a long way in advancing the fight to end men’s violence against women, especially when they include all off and on-field members of the community of all ages.
“It is essential that the prevention of men’s violence against women is incorporated into the DNA of every sporting community. Programs that are incorporated into training, events and communication maximise community impact and develop a sporting culture based on respect and inclusion,” said Ms McLeod Howe.
“We want people to know that violence against women is everyone’s issues, and it is unacceptable. We will not remain silent.”
For more information about how to participate in the White Ribbon Round, visit: http://www.whiteribboncampaign.org.au/event/WRN-AFL-VIC
Support White Ribbon directly by making a donation: www.whiteribbon.org.au/donate
Find out more about White Ribbon at: www.whiteribbon.org.au/
If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for advice or support. This free service providing confidential advice is open 24/7. In an emergency, call the police on 000. All incidents of violence should be reported to the police.