Chris Harris, Partnership Manager at Broxtowe Women's Project
Soccer stars of the future are being educated on domestic abuse and healthy relationships thanks to specialist pilot sessions in Nottinghamshire.
Broxtowe Women’s Project, in partnership with the Nottinghamshire Football Association and Nottinghamshire Police, are raising awareness and increasing understanding of the subject matters by delivering specialist sessions within community football clubs.
More than 2,000 grassroots clubs in the county are talking tactics while benefitting from a unique programme which focuses on educating the local community when it comes to understanding, identifying, preventing, and speaking out about domestic abuse, combined with the promotion and improvement of physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
The work comes after the project was awarded £10,000 as part of the Make Notts Safe Thematic Grant Funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire.
This Thematic Grant provides multi-year funding for third sector community-based organisations to enable local delivery against the Make Notts Safe Plan's strategic priorities – Communities, Rural Crime, Hate Crime, Youth Diversion and Hidden Harm.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry believes the sessions, alongside England’s progress at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup, can help promote awareness of domestic abuse and healthy relationships.
“With women’s football being talked about all over the world at present, we want to ensure that domestic abuse is also being discussed as a worldwide topic,” she said.
“These pioneering sessions are all about being proactive and educating as many people as possible on how to speak out about domestic abuse as well as what a healthy relationship looks like.
“Here in Nottinghamshire we are on the front foot in trying to prevent domestic abuse before it has even started.”
Every minute in the UK an incident of domestic abuse is reported to the police. It is estimated that on average one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse at some stage in their lifetime. It can take many forms including physical, emotional, financial, psychological, sexual and “honour based” violence.
Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
Broxtowe Women’s Project is a support and advice charity for women, children and young people affected by domestic abuse, supporting survivors of current and historic domestic abuse at any stage in their journey.
Chris Harris, Partnership Manager at Broxtowe Women’s Project, said: “The funding has allowed us to work in partnership with Nottinghamshire FA, who introduced us to welfare officers across their grassroots clubs which led to some initial training work with them in the first 12 months.
“We were looking at how they spot signs, what to do if they get a disclosure and how that fits with their safeguarding process.
“It’s also about recognising domestic abuse and the effects on children, where families may have been experiencing abusive behaviour.
“We appreciate that we’re not going to be able to speak to every parent and every player, so what we’ve got to do is educate the clubs’ welfare officers initially as they are usually the safeguarding lead for the organisations.
“The players need to know that they’ve got somewhere to go, and we’ve aimed for the top of each club and worked down so that everybody gets an opportunity to listen and learn.”
The sessions involve data capturing from attendees both before and after the training, in order to gain an understanding of their knowledge of the topics discussed.
Posted on Wednesday 16th August 2023