Richmond's Jack Riewoldt has thrown his support behind the AFL's Respect and Responsibility campaign.

Making a Stand on Respect

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

By Jennifer Witham for

The AFL's partnership with Victoria Police in combating violence against women is continuing to raise awareness for the important cause, says the League's football operations manager Adrian Anderson.

Speaking at the White Ribbon Day breakfast recently, Anderson said the AFL's involvement in the campaign was making a difference.

"I think AFL footballers by and large really get this issue and are setting a great example," he said.

"In any group of young men of the age of our players you will get isolated incidents from time to time, but I think we can be proud of our players and the culture of our clubs in trying to set a good example on this issue."

Anderson was one of many guest speakers at the Federation Square function, alongside Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland and North Melbourne defender Daniel Pratt.

He says the AFL is more than happy to work with the police to reduce the current figure that states one in three women in Australia will be assaulted or abused in her lifetime.

"We think we're in a unique position to help shape and influence community attitudes in the right direction and Victoria Police are in a position to do so as well," he said.

"Violence against women is still a major issue in society and an issue we're committed to taking action and trying to set the right example and also to run education programs through community football at all levels."

Mr Overland said the AFL's support was very important given its ability to reach the target audience of young men.

"Particularly here in Victoria but right across Australia the AFL is a very prominent organisation, they attract a lot of attention, their players are role models whether they want to be or not, they are the sort of people that get noticed and what they do matters," he said.

"For the AFL to have done the work they've done in the respect and responsibility program and to partner with us on White Ribbon events and others around saying no to violence against women is very important because it's a great way to get the message out there."

North Melbourne's Daniel Pratt said he first got involved with the White Ribbon campaign because he was previously ignorant of the issue and felt he could help out by passing the message through the club and lower leagues.

He also said his own personal involvement with North Melbourne's embarrassing chicken video scandal in 2009 that drew criticism from many women's groups made him more determined to set an example for younger players.

"It made me a bit more aware of what impact you can have on people. You can have a negative or a positive impact and I'm trying to have a positive one now," he said.

"It definitely made me understand what this issue is all about.

"The average age of playing lists in the AFL are a lot lower than they were 10 years ago. They're guys coming out of school and uni and are still being moulded as people.

"It's our responsibilities as older players to make sure we get things right with them and hopefully in 10 years time, we've taken massive steps forward on this issue."

Find out more about the AFL's Respect & Responsibility Policy at 

The 90 second clip below, launched by the AFL and the Victorian Government reinforces that respect is everyone's responsibility, regardless of age, background or circumstance.


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