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Sport a major player in ending violence against women: study


Sport can help end violence against women according to a new evidence paper released today by Our Watch entitled A team effort: Preventing violence against women through sport.

A team effort Image

"Sport has been identified in numerous policy documents as a key setting to prevent violence against women,” said Our Watch CEO, Mary Barry.

“Sport settings have enormous potential to encourage social change and prevent violence against women by creating inclusive, equitable, healthy and safe environments for men and women, boys and girls,” said Ms Barry.

Produced by RMIT University and Our Watch, A team effort: preventing violence against women through sport analyses current initiatives and literature and provides 10 key actions that sporting organisations and communities can take to help prevent violence against women.

It was released today at Our Sporting Futures, a conference of key national sporting organisations, authorities and media.

“Sporting organisations need to work hard to ensure the notion of a ‘level playing field’ is a reality for players, staff members, volunteers, fans and anyone connected to the club,” said Ms Barry.

“To extend principles of equality and fairness beyond the field into the boardroom, the coach’s box, the stands, the change rooms, and the media,” she said.

According to research by VicHealth, 98 per cent of Victorians expect local sporting clubs to provide an environment that is welcoming and inclusive to girls and women; and 86 per cent believe clubs should play a community leadership role by encouraging respectful relationships between men and women.

“It’s not the job of sport alone to end violence against women, ” Ms Barry said. “There is, however, a real opportunity in sport to promote women’s participation and opportunities, challenge gender stereotypes and roles, challenge attitudes and behaviours that support or condone violence and disrespect, and encourage respectful and equal relationships, ” she added.

“It will be a team effort, but if we all work together, sport can help change the story that ends in violence against women,” Ms Barry said.

Media contact:

Lisa Zilberpriver

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000”

To access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children, visit: www.ourwatch.org.au


Our Watch leads Australia's work to stop violence against women and their children before it starts. The organisation was created to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and children.

To do this Our Watch works to increase gender equality and respect in all aspects of everyday life, such as through schools; workplaces; media; sporting organisations; social marketing, and developing and influencing public policy.