The State Government has teamed up with sporting superstars from the West Coast Eagles, Fremantle Dockers and Perth Scorchers to call for an end to gender-based violence at the launch of the 16 Days in WA campaign.
The theme for 2022 is ‘Ending violence against women – it’s everybody’s business’. Today sporting stars attended the launch at Western Australia’s most iconic sporting venue, adding their voices to champion the need for change.
Sport is part of Australia’s social fabric and presents an opportunity to engage with young people and the broader community at a grass-roots level on how we can model respect as individuals and organisations. Addressing a complex social problem like violence against women requires a community effort – on and off the field.
In marking the launch of 16 Days in WA, the State Government announced it will adapt its successful Respectful Relationships school program for the sport sector, complementing existing work underway by SportWest.
The Department of Communities has provided a grant of over $630,000 to Starick Services to operate a two-year pilot that will partner with the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
The initiative will be open to sport and recreation-based support programs for children and young people, local government authorities and the sport sector.
Alarmingly, WA continues to have a high rate of family and domestic violence-related assault, second only to the Northern Territory. Across Australia around 1 in 4 women, and an estimated 3 in 5 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, have experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner since age 15.
In 2021-22 WA Police generated 44,705 family violence incident reports – an average of one report every 12 minutes. Shockingly, over the same period, women were victims in 93 per cent of sexual assaults reported to WA Police. It simply must stop.
The annual 16 Days in WA – Stop Violence Against Women campaign takes place from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day).
To help raise awareness a selection of prominent landmarks across WA will be lit up orange – the global campaign colour to promote an end to gender-based violence. They include Elizabeth Quay, Matagarup Bridge, Optus Stadium and Yagan Square.
Further information on the 16 Days in WA campaign, including statistics and resources, are available online.
As stated by Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:
“The 16 Days in WA campaign is shining a light on the issue of violence against women. It’s in our homes, it’s in our workplaces, and it’s the wider community – and as a Government we’re determined to find new ways to help stop the violence before it starts.
“While not all disrespect leads to violence, all violence starts with disrespect – and all of us need to call it out if we want to break the cycle.
“I’m incredibly proud WA’s prominent sports stars are leading the way embracing this message.
“Respectful Relationships has already rolled out to 60 schools across WA, and extending it to sport is another way to spread the message throughout the community and help change the underlying attitudes that lead to violence.
“Everybody has a part to play by calling out disrespectful behaviour, and I call on leaders across all industries to make it their business.”
As stated by Sport and Recreation Minister David Templeman:
“The 16 Days in WA campaign has been highlighting the issue of family and domestic violence for six years, and expanding the Respectful Relationships program into sport makes sense.
“Sport is a fantastic way to spread positive messages because Western Australians look up to their sporting heroes. When they take a stand, the public follows.”