Local AFL team works to stop brutality against women

Local AFL team works to stop brutality against women
Carol Saffer

Carlton Respects is the flagship community program of the Carlton Football Club aimed at educating the community about gender equality to prevent violence against women.

The club made a joint resolution to launch its Carlton Respects program in 2016.

CEO Brian Cook said, “the decision was made following a research piece on the issues our community was facing and in close consultation with Our Watch and the Luke Batty Foundation, two key organisations in the space of family violence prevention.”

Our Watch research shows that 87 per cent of Australian adults participate in some form of sport or physical activity.

“It’s fair to say that sport can be as important as family, education and faith in shaping our values and behaviours in life,” a spokesperson from Our Watch said.

The club is aware of how important it is to utilise its reach to a mass audience.

It chose not to ignore this social issue’s devasting impact on Australian families.

“To put it simply, the statistics at the time and sadly still are, harrowing,” Mr Cook said.

“So, it is a great credit to those at the club
at that time for launching the Carlton Respects initiative.”

No other AFL club at present had entered an awareness-raising program or an educational space.

The Carlton Respects initiative has three main focuses; a school program, workplace charter, and awareness raising.

A new digital learning platform that will enable the Carlton Respects school program to reach beyond the 10,000 students it already has, is soon to be launched.

The club’s players are involved in its delivery, which significantly impacts the new platform.

“To be able to grow the program on this scale is vitally important as research shows that instilling the message of gender equality to younger people has a great effect on their social conscious later in life,” Mr Cook said.

The workplace charter provides the same education tailored to the Australian business community.

“Thirdly, our awareness raising of gender equality for the prevention of violence against women is driven by three key events throughout the year, our AFLW Carlton Respects Game, AFL Carlton Respects Game and 16 Days of Activism.”

Data gathered by Our Watch shows gender inequality is the leading cause of violence against women, resulting in the murder of one woman weekly at the hands of her current or former partner.

“We are continuing to strive for gender equality in our industry, which, to be honest, has not always been the case,” Mr Cook said. •


Caption: Sam Walsh and Charlie Curnow, Photography AFL Photos.

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