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Wellington groups tackle violence during RWC

Aug 18th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

WHISTLE’S BLOWN: All Blacks Liam Messam (left) and Richard Kahui (right) with former All Black Josh Kronfeld (centre). PHOTO: Supplied.

 

STOPPING violence in the home and in the street will be the focus of events in Wellington and the Hutt Valley, timed to coincide with the Rugby World Cup.

All Blacks Richard Kahui and Liam Messam, and former All Black Josh Kronfeld are some of the ambassadors for The “Blow the Whistle” anti-violence campaign.

Among the organisations staging activities are Victoria University Student’s Association, Safe City Group and Hutt Valley Family Violence.

Ta’ase Vaoga, Victoria’s student welfare officer, says they are planning to host one of the sports ambassadors and have a panel of speakers from violence prevention services during their Women’s Fest week in September.

“There’s a huge concern around women being vulnerable during the Rugby World Cup on the streets of Wellington and not being aware of what’s going on, being too drunk and being taken advantage of.”

“It’s a way for us to spark discussion at university as well, to talk about the issues surrounding alcohol and violence.”

Hutt Safe City Group and Hutt Valley Family Violence network are working with sports clubs and bars to raise awareness of family violence.

Bars and clubs will be displaying Blow the Whistle posters and coasters with positive family violence messages.

Debbie Robinson, the Hutt Valley Family Violence co-ordinator, says the groups are organising a morning tea at the Pelorous Trust Sports House on September 7 as part of their activity.

Lower and Upper Hutt Mayors, plus sports commentator and local councillor Ken Laban and other sports personalities will be involved in the event

Former Black Cap and national campaign organiser Peter McGlashan says having a major sporting event like the World Cup is a great opportunity to turn the spotlight onto family violence.

“By using high profile athletes that are all role models and that have all been successful; hopefully we can provide some examples to people as to how to change.”

Mr McGlashan says people ask “how can Liam Messam speak up against violence when he plays such a violent sport?”

“Well Liam himself has said that “while I need to be aggressive on the field there’s no reason why I need to take that aggression off when I become a family man, when I become a father, when I become a partner.” ”

National Network of Stopping Violence Service national manager Brian Gardner says the Wellington national office will be distributing Blow the Whistle posters, whistles and coasters to bring the message to the public.

“It’s a brilliant campaign that tells people they can love rugby and sport but it’s about playing within the rules, and violence is stepping outside [of those rules]” says Mr Gardner.

 

 

 

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