Violence against women issue to be tackled by Ararat Rats

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NATIONALLY one in three women experience physical violence and Victorian statistics show that violence against women is the leading cause of death, disability and illness in women between 15-44 years, with Ararat ranking at six out of 79 municipalities for reported incidents of family violence.

Increasing efforts to prevent violence against women and children, local partners including Women's Health Grampians, Grampians Pyrenees Primary Care Partnership, SportsCentral and the Ararat Football Netball Club are piloting a unique performance.

The Club is hosting the performance piece 'You the Man', re-developed by Deakin University, which will be presented to players and members next Thursday July 31 at the Alexandra Oval Club Rooms.

The thirty five minute play is with one actor who features as six different male characters whose lives are impacted by violence committed by other men around them. It is not a strategy in blaming, shaming or victimising, but rather a bystander engagement tool. The play uses humour as well as highlighting the seriousness of the issue.

The Rats have embraced the chance to host the performance and see it is a great opportunity for a sporting club to show leadership on this important issue.

"The Ararat Football Netball Club has an obligation to the community and its members, to actively support programs that raise public awareness in preventing violence against women," Bill Bell, president of the Rats, said.

The MC for the evening will be joint senior coach David Hosking.

After the performance, an expert panel from support organisations Centre Against Sexual Assault, Grampians Community Health, Men's Behaviour Change Program and Victoria Police will be open for questions and discussion.

To keep the momentum going, the Rats are in training for the August 9 round, when the Wimmera League and the Horsham District League will be competing for the 'White Ribbon Day Round', continuing to highlight the issue of violence against women.


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