Eagles join 16 Days in WA campaign to call for end to violence against women

Eagles join 16 Days in WA campaign to call for end to violence against women

The West Coast Eagles’ iconic club colours of blue and gold took on a different hue this morning as the men’s team trained in orange socks at Mineral Resources Park to help call for an end to violence against women on the final day of 16 Days in WA for 2021.

Now in its fifth year, the 16 Days in WA campaign seeks to raise awareness about the issue of gender-based violence and put an end to attitudes and behaviours that excuse or downplay disrespect towards women.

The West Coast Eagles have been proud supporters of this year’s campaign, which has included 2018 premiership defender Tom Barrass joining Eagles AFL Women’s star Hayley Bullas as official 16 Days in WA Agents of Change.

Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk met with the playing group this morning at the Eagles’ headquarters in Lathlain and praised the club for taking a proactive stand on an important community issue.

The Eagles’ display of orange socks for 16 Days in WA symbolises the official theme colour of the campaign, which is inspired by the global 16 Days movement that runs from November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to December 10 (Human Rights Day).

Last year, 65 per cent of assaults recorded in Western Australia were related to family and domestic violence (up by 15 per cent in 2019). Of the 22,257 victims, 73 per cent (or 16,262 victims) were female.

As part of the expansion of the Respectful Relationships education program currently in schools, the McGowan Government has committed almost $1 million to adapt and deliver the program in sport and recreation clubs and organisations in 2022.

More information on 16 Days in WA, including the campaign kit, is available online.

“Sporting organisations and groups have an important opportunity to role model respectful behaviour and take steps to address gender inequality and prevent violence against women.

“This campaign works to prevent violence before it occurs, and educating as many people as possible about respectful relationships is key to driving this change.

“It is incredibly powerful to see an organisation as large and well respected as the West Coast Eagles lending their support to the 16 Days in WA campaign.

“With more than 100,000 members across the State, the Eagles are backed by a large and passionate fan base.

“Having the Eagles players wear orange socks for 16 Days in WA sends a very clear message that violence against women is never acceptable and will help start conversations.

“While the 2021 campaign is drawing to a close, I urge all Western Australians to keep the ‘Don’t be silent when you see violence’ message front of mind all year round.

“Together, we can end disrespect and violence against women.” said Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Simone McGurk.

“West Coast as a club is committed to doing what it can to stamp out violence against women.

“The number of instances in our community where women are disrespected and subjected to violence is alarming and cannot be tolerated.

“If our club, by supporting this campaign, can assist in reducing the incidences and give people the strength to speak up against violence, then we will take some satisfaction and pride in that outcome.” said West Coast Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett.