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Grafton sports sign on to fight domestic violence

Clarence Valley sporting clubs are being recruited to help raise awareness of domestic violence in the area, and what can be done to help victims and affected families.
Eight Grafton clubs pledged their support of the initiative at a forum at the Grafton District Services Club on Wednesday last week: Grafton City Bears (hockey); Grafton Ghosts (league); Westlawn Tigers (soccer); Grafton Redmen (hockey and union); Grafton Rowing Club; Grafton Super Oldies Soccer; Grafton Tigers (AFL); and South Grafton Rebels (league).
Northern NSW Aboriginal Family Health co-ordinator, Dallas Waters, said the Clarence was in the top 10 per cent of the state in regards to domestic violence incidents, and nationwide one in three women experienced domestic violence.
Mr Waters said it was ‘fantastic’ that a wide range of Grafton sporting clubs had already pledged their support for the new initiative.
“We’re looking to raise awareness that it is a crime and we won’t tolerate it in our community. I believe we are in crisis – it is such a serious issue,” he said.
“We’re looking for as many sports as possible to come on board to spread the message. The more sports we can get the more exposure we will have.”
A further recruitment forum was to be held on Wednesday night this week at the Yamba Bowling Club, from 6pm to 9pm, targeting Lower Clarence sporting clubs.
Mr Waters said it was not too late for any Clarence sporting club to get involved – they could simply call him on 0404 202 958.
Michelle Call, of Redmen Netball, was among those at the Grafton forum to pledge their support.
She said her eyes were opened on what was happening in the local area, after listening to the experience of a local victim of domestic violence, as well as local service providers.
Ms Call said she personally knew someone who had experienced domestic violence.
“It’s not something anyone wants to experience. It’s quite scary that it can happen to anyone from any socio-economic group,” she said.

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