Booting violence from the community

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Geraldton organisations signed onto the Community, Respect and Equality (CRE) initiative are working together with the local football community to prevent family violence through the annual Men Against Violence Football Round on Saturday 21 August.

Running in its third year, the Round is a collaboration between the WA Centre for Rural Health (WACRH), The Great Northern Football League (GNFL), and Geraldton Sporting Aboriginal Corporation (GSAC), and aims to communicate the message that ‘Violence is Never OK’.

Given football plays such an integral role in our community, WACRH Director Professor Sandra Thompson said engaging football players, supporters, and their families, is an effective method to get the community involved in conversations which might prevent family violence.

“Football is a popular family sport and is played by many individuals within our community,” Professor Thompson said.

“With all clubs involved this year, including the men, women and juniors, many conversations will be generated about the Men Against Violence Round in the change rooms, at home and on the oval, enabling our messaging to reach lots of different people.

“Geraldton has some fantastic male role models both within our sporting clubs as well as in the wider community who will be working directly with players and supporters to discuss the importance of promoting the behaviours that prevent violence.

According to research, when inequality and disrespect are accepted as a normal part of sport, the impacts flow out to the rest of the community.

“If language that degrades women is justified as ‘just locker room talk’, it normalises disrespect of women off the field,” Professor Thompson said.

“When aggression, intimidation, threats and violence are accepted as a way to resolve disputes on the field, we normalise emotional and physical violence in pubs, streets and homes.

“This round will give individuals opportunities to reflect on their behaviour by engaging them in conversations about the prevention of family violence, which is the first step towards generating social change.

“Together, we can work to ensure the City of Greater Geraldton is a safe place to live, work and raise a family.”

The Men Against Violence Round will take place on Saturday 21st August in Geraldton and Northampton.

Sponsors of the Round include Centacare Family Services, and Midwest politicians Hon Martin Aldridge MLC, Hon Steve Martin MLC, Lara Dalton MLA and Hon Sandra Carr MLC. 

For more information regarding the Round contact Erin Middleton at WACRH on 9956 0200.

Photo caption: Dane Waters (Health Communication Resources), Grant Woodhams (Chapman Valley Football Club), Erin Middleton (WACRH), Simon Barras (Mid West, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries), Adam Dusty, Harry Taylor (GNFL), Adrian Bartlett (GSAC), Grady Tomelty (West Australian Football Commission) at a Men Against Violence Round planning meeting.

Media contact: Mia Jeffrey, Marketing and Communications Officer - (08) 9956 0225 -