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Men’s helpline for domestic and family violence receives increase in calls during footy final season.

domestic and family violence during footy final season

No to Violence data shows a year-on-year increase in calls by men who use violence during the AFL grand final season.

For almost 30 years, No to Violence has been working with men who use family violence. They operate the Men’s Referral Service – a telephone line and online chat service that provides intervention, counselling and support for men who want to change their behaviour.

  • In 2021, there was a 34 per cent increase in referrals the week after the AFL grand final.
  • In 2020, there was a 32 per cent increase in referrals during the week of the AFL grand final.
  • In 2019, there was a 5.2per cent increase in referrals during the week of the AFL grand final – there was another 15 per cent increase in referrals the following week.  

No to Violence CEO Jacqui Watt says the increase in calls is a result of 30 years of awareness raising and dedicated support work.

“More men are becoming aware of our service and understand there is somewhere they can turn when they need it. The footy final season can be stressful for many and we are here for those men when they need support to avoid their behaviour escalating, said Watt.” 

No to Violence calls on all sports organisations to promote ways for men who use violence to seek help by contacting the Men’s Referral Service. 

“We invite all sports clubs from the smallest community club to the largest to list our number and refer men who use violence to 1300 766 491, or go online and chat to one of our professionals.

“Sport plays an integral part in Australian culture; the attitudes and behaviours modelled by players, coaches, media personalities and supporters are instrumental in shaping the values of communities. This creates an exciting opportunity for sport to be a vehicle for change,” said Watt.

“As the peak body working with men to end family violence, we welcome the opportunity to partner with sport organisations who are committed to driving change,” said Watt.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Ros Spence

“We know that family violence rates can spike around the time of major sporting events. No to Violence and the Men’s Referral Service do important work to help men change their behaviour to stop violence before it starts.”
“We all need to play our part in ending family violence. If you are concerned with your behaviour or the behaviour of a friend or family member, please contact the Men’s Referral Service.”

If you or someone close to you is in immediate danger, dial 000.

For advice and counselling for men concerned about their use of family violence call Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491

If you are experiencing family violence you can contact Safe Steps on 1800 015 188.