Bulls say no to vi­o­lence

Broome Advertiser - - Front Page - Carly Laden

A Broome football club has joined a cam­paign against hit­ting women that could see play­ers caught up in do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dents banned from matches.

The Broome Bulls team will this season wear jumpers that in­clude a motto that says “No More” to fam­ily and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, and hope other clubs in the West Kim­ber­ley Football League will fol­low their lead.

In a No More do­mes­tic vi­o­lence action plan de­vised by the club, Broome Bulls pres­i­dent Wes­ley Green said the rates of do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence in Broome alone were truly ap­palling.

“As the pres­i­dent of the Broome Bulls FC, I ac­knowl­edge the im­por­more” tance sport has within our Aus­tralian cul­ture, and the im­por­tance of role modelling good be­hav­iour through sport,” he said.

“As a sport­ing team, we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to lead through ex­am­ple.”

The No More cam­paign was founded in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory by Char­lie King when he no­ticed a dan­ger­ous trend of fam­ily vi­o­lence among Top End and cen­tral desert com­mu­ni­ties.

The ini­tia­tive calls on sport­ing clubs to link arms and say “no more” to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence by im­ple­ment­ing action plans de­tail­ing how the club will deal with a player that is caught up in do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, which can in­clude coun­selling and match bans.

Mr King said the call to say “no came about after speak­ing to a num­ber of Abo­rig­i­nal el­ders in his lo­cal com­mu­nity about the is­sue of fam­ily vi­o­lence.

“(The el­ders) just shook their heads and said ‘no more’, mean­ing the vi­o­lence needed to be ended,” he said.

“When I told oth­ers about it, they said ‘well, we should all link up’ in sup­port of the call.”

“It is great news to see what the peo­ple of Broome are doing and we hope the cam­paign will make a difference.”

WA Po­lice Kim­ber­ley Fam­ily Pro­tec­tion Unit’s Sergeant Ja­son Gen­tili helped im­ple­ment the No More cam­paign in the Kim­ber­ley and has praised the Broome Bulls for be­ing the first to make a com­mit­ment.

“The Broome Bulls and even­tu­ally the en­tire WKFL tak­ing on this po­si­tion of ‘no more’ with re­gards to fam­ily vi­o­lence just shows their courage in step­ping up and tak­ing a tough stance on a com­mu­nity is­sue that most will not talk about,” he said.

Kim­ber­ley District Su­per­in­ten­dent Al­lan Adams said football had a strong in­flu­ence on fam­i­lies and not just in­di­vid­u­als.

“It is known football has a mas­sive pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on young men’s lives in the Kim­ber­ley and that in­flu­ence is grow­ing with the in­tro­duc­tion of women’s football in the re­gion,” he said.

“Com­ing off the North­ern Ter­ri­tory ex­pe­ri­ence with the No More cam­paign, I be­lieve we can strongly in­flu­ence be­hav­iour by driv­ing home the No More mes­sage to in­di­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties through the love of football.

“I strongly be­lieve the cam­paign will re­duce vi­o­lence in our fam­ily homes and re­duce the im­pact on fam­i­lies but, in par­tic­u­lar, kids.”

Mr Green said he be­lieved the No More cam­paign would “ab­so­lutely” work in the Kim­ber­ley.

“Hope­fully by the end of the football season we will have all 14 teams in the WKFL, in­clud­ing the women’s teams, im­ple­ment­ing their Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Action Plans,” he said.

“The Broome Bulls will be link­ing arms be­fore ev­ery game this season, sym­bol­is­ing the com­mit-

ment we have in spread­ing the ini­tia­tive. The main aim for us is to start the con­ver­sa­tion around do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and as a strong club with great fam­ily val­ues, we want to con­trib­ute to help stop­ping the vi­o­lence among the com­mu­nity of Broome.”

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics pro­vided by the No More cam­paign, one in three women have ex­pe­ri­enced phys­i­cal vi­o­lence by a cur­rent or former part­ner since the age of 15, one in seven men have ex­pe­ri­enced emo­tional abuse by a cur­rent or former part­ner since they were 15, and chil­dren are present in one in ev­ery three fam­ily vi­o­lence cases re­ported to po­lice.

Ac­cord­ing to WA Po­lice sta­tis­tics, the 2017-18 fi­nan­cial year to March 2018 has seen 1975 cases of do­mes­tic as­sault in the Kim­ber­ley district, down from 2599 in the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year.

Pic­ture: Carly Laden

Broome Bulls are tak­ing a stand against do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in the re­gion.

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