Netball Australia is standing up to violence against women and their children by empowering and educating the netball family.
Violence against women is one of the most prevalent public health issues we face with one in three Australian women experiencing physical violence, one in four emotional abuse and one in five sexual violence, according to national data.
Netball, along with the Australian Football League (AFL), National Rugby League (NRL) and Australian Rugby Union (ARU), have teamed up with Our Watch to help drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and their children.
As the largest female team participation sport in Australia, Netball Australia is in a unique position to empower women to create positive environments that promote gender equality and acceptable gender norms as a key strategy to prevent violence against women.
Netball Australia Chief Executive Officer, Kate Palmer, said that respect and equality are central to every sport.
“It is essential that netball promotes fair, inclusive and respectful behaviours and attitudes both on and off the court,” Palmer said.
“We take this responsibility, as one of the sports selected for an Our Watch Sports Engagement Program grant, very seriously and are pleased to be able to further our efforts to prevent violence against women and their children.
“Too many lives are lost to domestic violence in Australia. Netball can engage with our community to provide the supportive environments that effect positive change.”
With more than 1.2 million participants, Netball Australia will deliver an awareness campaign, and education through “Expect Respect” training to lead the way in engaging women and girls in primary prevention programs.
These programs will aim to improve the knowledge and skills of women and girls to be able to build respectful and equitable relationships, and display positive bystander behaviour, and establish a network of informed champions that actively support gender equality.
Netball Australia has previously partnered with Nirodah, Canopi and the Victorian Women’s Trust, through the Federal Government’s Community Action Grants, to develop the free “Expect Respect” eLearning modules.
The online courses, tailored to three key audiences, including youth, young adults and the netball community, were designed to increase the understanding of the behaviours and characteristics of healthy relationships, highlight warning signs, encourage support and increase self-esteem.
Our Watch, is an independent, non-for-profit organisation, which provides national leadership to change structures, norms and practices that drive violence against women and their children.
Part of this work will include the development of transferable tools and resources to be used by other National Sporting Organisations.