Bulls say no to violence

Carly LadenBroome Advertiser
The Broome Bulls link arms to say "No More" to domestic violence.
Camera IconThe Broome Bulls link arms to say "No More" to domestic violence. Credit: 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 importance 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 more” 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 theNo 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 commitment 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.

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