The NRL today unveiled a series of additional resources in a continued and united resolve to stand up, speak out and take action against domestic violence.
On the eve of Representative Round, representative players from Australia, New Zealand, City, Country and Pacific teams gathered at Rugby League Central in a combined show of support and to reaffirm efforts to end domestic violence.
Representative players included Corey Parker (Kangaroos), Ruan Sims (Jillaroos), Sarina Fiso (Ferns), James Maloney (Country), Wade Graham (City), Peni Terepo (Tonga), Stanton Albert (PNG) and Eloni Vunakece (Fiji).
The NRL has worked alongside domestic violence partners Our Watch, White Ribbon and Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia to develop additional resources and education tools in the fight against domestic violence, with a new commercial, website and education sessions announced today.
Ambassador Alan Tongue will lead a group of NRL ambassadors in visiting communities throughout regional and rural Australia, helping to educate young men in particular on the importance of standing up, speaking out and taking action against domestic violence.
"Our strong stance against this terrible issue is one of the most important messages that we can impart on communities and as a game, we will continue to do everything we can to prevent domestic violence," Mr Tongue said.
"We have a responsibility to our Rugby League players, their families and our communities at large to ensure they receive the education, support and resources available to make informed decisions and ultimately, make positive and consistent behaviour choices."
Kangaroos player Matt Scott will join Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga in a new commercial that highlights the need to communicate and speak out against domestic violence before it is too late.
And a new website has been created, providing testimonials and interviews with former and current rugby league players, together with support options and advice from the NRL's domestic violence partners.
The NRL has received funding from 'Our Watch' (an independent, not for profit organisation aimed at eradicating domestic violence) to continue to reach existing and new communities and educate communities that violence of any kind is not okay.
CEO Mary Barry congratulated the NRL on its continued stand against domestic violence and additional resources announced.
"This isn’t a sporting issue or a rugby league issue, however sport has the opportunity to play an important role in preventing violence against women and their children," said Ms Barry.
"Sporting clubs and organisations bring together large numbers of people and are a ready-made environment to promote women’s participation and opportunities to eliminate gender-based discrimination, disrespect for women and violence-supportive attitudes.
"It is pleasing that this is what the NRL is doing and the code should be commended for providing ongoing awareness towards ending discrimination and violence against women."
The NRLs domestic violence commercial will air for the first time during the upcoming Downer Test Match on Friday 6 May and education resources can be viewed online.
• One in three women in Australia have experienced physical violence. This is unacceptable.
• The NRL, together with players, Clubs, States, Pacific neighbours and communities, wants to continue to be a catalyst for change and contribute directly to the long-term prevention of domestic violence.
• The game is strengthening its ongoing work and resolve to stand up, speak out and take action against domestic violence – forming a coalition alongside domestic violence experts, to change the behaviours, attitudes and actions of those in our communities that think domestic violence is ok.
• The NRL has received funding from 'Our Watch' (a Federal Government department aimed at eradicating domestic violence) to continue to reach existing and new communities and educate young males in particular, that violence of any kind is not ok.
• Voice Against Violence includes a Grassroots program for 16 – 18 year olds, a new commercial and website, aimed at decreasing and ultimately, ending domestic violence.
This article first appeared on NRL.com