[Svrilist] Respectful Behaviours - People in Sport [Posting: Angela Williams]

Marg D'Arcy darcym at cryptic.rch.unimelb.edu.au
Mon Jul 24 09:31:02 SAST 2006

And now the AFL have employed Melanie Heenan, previously with the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault to look at embedding cultural change within the organisation at all levels.  Part of that will include an evaluation of the training program which Angela refers to and development of follow on education.  
Marg D'Arcy
Program Manager
CASA Cancer, Advocacy, Diversity and Social Support
132 Grattan Street
03 93442271

---- Original message ----
>Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 08:50:42 +0200
>From: Liz Dartnall <svri at mrc.ac.za>  
>Subject: [Svrilist] Respectful Behaviours - People in Sport [Posting: Angela Williams]  
>To: Sexual Violence Research Initiative <svrilist at mrc.ac.za>
>   Hello everybody out there,
>   I just wanted to let you know of a project that we
>   completed last year...
>   In mid 2004 an allegation of sexual assault of a
>   woman by two of our elite Australian Football League
>   (AFL) players was made public via the media.
>   Thankfully this prompted interest from the
>   community, specialist groups and the leading
>   sporting body (AFL) who decided to make a series of
>   commitments to preventing sexual violence against
>   women (men and children). One such commitment
>   involved the provision of an education program to
>   all AFL players throughout Australia and to the
>   individual clubs' coaching staff and other
>   officials. The education program entitled
>   `Respectful Behaviours - People in Sport (Adult
>   Sexual Assault)' commenced in March 2005 and was
>   delivered to approximately 900 people (the
>   overwhelming majority men). It was a program
>   designed to a) increase community awareness of the
>   incidence/prevalence of sexual assault, b) debunk
>   popular myths surrounding sexual violence, c)
>   establish an understanding of consent (free
>   agreement) and the ways to negotiate such in a
>   sexual relationship, d) create awareness of team
>   dynamics (including the role of the bystander)
>   whilst promoting individual principles in a group
>   environment, e) see sexual violence (or the threat
>   of) from a victims perspective and most importantly
>   f) emphasise the significance of respect for others.
>   It was an intensive program with excellent player
>   feedback. The motivation to prevent sexual (and
>   other) violence in our community meant that at least
>   1 out of 5 of the players agreed to becoming a
>   mentor on this issue. Within the playing group there
>   were a number of disclosures by players about
>   themselves or someone they were close to, and not
>   surprisingly when asked "how many of you know of
>   someone (yourself, family member or close friend)
>   who has been sexually assaulted/raped?" at least 1/3
>   or more commonly  1/2 of players responded in the
>   affirmative.
>   I delivered the program with a colleague who works
>   with male sexual offenders in the juvenile justice
>   system - Patrick Tidmarsh. Together we have gained
>   an enormous amount of information and experience in
>   educating males on the prevention of sexual
>   violence. We are looking forward to participating in
>   the future of such education programs and of course
>   the `next step' from here. Please feel free to
>   contact me if you would like to discuss any aspects
>   of this training program or pass on your experience
>   in similar situations. For further information
>   pertaining to the AFL's approach to sexual violence,
>   harassment and discrimination - a policy entitled
>   `Respect and Responsibility' - see www.AFL.com.au
>   Key elements of the policy, which was developed in
>   conjunction with the Victorian Government's
>   Statewide Committee to Reduce Sexual Assault and
>   Office of Women's Policy are:
>   1. Introduction of model anti-sexual harassment and
>   anti-sexual discrimination procedures across the AFL
>   and its 16 Clubs.
>   2. Development of organisational policies and
>   procedures to ensure a safe, supportive and
>   inclusive environment for women.
>   3. Changes to AFL rules relating to conduct
>   unbecoming which cover the specific context of
>   allegations of sexual assault.
>   4. Education of AFL players and other club officials
>   with avenues for dissemination of the program to the
>   community level being explored.
>   5. The dissemination of model policies and
>   procedures at the community club level.
>   6.  Development of a public education campaign.
>   Kind Regards,
>   Ange
>   Dr Angela Williams
>   Forensic Physician
>   Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
>   11 Moore St, Southbank VIC 3006
>   Ph: (03) 9684 4480
>   Fx: (03) 9684 4481
>   --
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>   e-mail legal notice available at
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>The views expressed in this forum do not necessarily reflect those of the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Global Forum for Health Research or the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), http://www.svri.org 

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