Posted on 15. Sep, 2010 in News

Young footballers will be targeted as part of a Brumby Labor Government and AFL partnership to reduce the incidence of violence against women, Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls said today.

Mr Hulls said the new partnership with the AFL would produce a DVD to inform young and aspiring footballers about the important issues that encompass family violence and violence against women.

“Family violence remains the leading cause of preventable death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged 15 to 44 while one in three women will experience physical violence in their life,” he said.

“The AFL is in a unique position to reach out to young men aged between 15 and 24 and to help us change attitudes for the next generation.

“This partnership with the AFL harnesses the power of one of the most far-reaching organisations in Victoria and will help influence footballers at the grassroots level right across the state.”

The DVD, to be distributed to regional and metropolitan football clubs next year, will be narrated by former Demons player Russell Robertson and feature Collingwood’s Harry O’Brien and Hawk Sam Mitchell as well as a victim of family violence. Excerpts from the DVD are available at

The DVD will also be accompanied by an instruction manual to provide information to help educate their players on this issue.

The DVD is being produced as part of the Brumby Labor Government’s Enough campaign, which raises awareness of new family violence laws. The Brumby Labor Government has provided $130,000 towards the partnership with the AFL.

“This DVD will cover misconceptions and myths about violence against women, the law relating to sexual assault and family violence, and bystander issues and prevention,” Mr Hulls said.

“The Brumby Labor Government has been working hard to increase the protection available for victims of family violence through new laws and community awareness and this is another way we can spread the message that family violence won’t be tolerated.

“Together, we can make a difference and I’m grateful the AFL has joined the Government and other groups to state, loud and clear, that Victoria has had Enough of Family Violence.”

Mr Hulls said the Government had a strong partnership with Netball Victoria through the Enough campaign and the new AFL partnership provided further support into regional Victoria.

Minister for Women’s Affairs Maxine Morand said the partnership complemented Government efforts to reduce and prevent violence against women, including work through the State Prevention Plan, A Right to Respect.

“Family violence can have such long term and devastating effects, so education is an important part of our prevention strategy,” Ms Morand said.

“Providing information about respectful relationships and talking about what sexual and family violence looks like in all its various forms is one way we can break the silence that sometimes surrounds family violence.”

AFL Chief Executive Andrew Demetriou said the partnership with the Government was an extension of the AFL’s Respect and Responsibility program and followed strong demand from community football clubs to be involved.

“As a leader in the community, the AFL wants to send a powerful message to the community that any form of violence or abuse against women is totally unacceptable,” he said.

Mr Demetriou said the DVD would complement other initiatives and work being done at community level including the Respectful Relationships project.

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