16 Days of Activism begins

Today marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against gendered violence and the opportunity to make a change.

One in three Australian women experience violence over their lifetime. That’s one too many.

Running from Sunday the 25th of November through to December 10, the global campaign fittingly begins on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and concludes on International Day of Human Rights. Orange the World: #HearMeToo is the theme for the United Nations awareness campaign aiming to leverage the voices of survivors to end violence against women.

As the leading sport for women and girls, Netball Australia together with the Confident Girls Foundation actively supports the empowerment of women and provides the opportunity for them to thrive through netball.

Senior Constable of Caboolture Police, Jo-Anne Arthur introduced the Creating Confidences program, after recognising a need for a ‘netball family’ for those who have experienced violence.

An advertisement for the Confident Girls Foundation was what caught the attention of the police officer of 28 years, who deals with domestic violence almost every day.

“I see kids and just how troubled they can be from what happens in the home,” explains Arthur.

“If I can give them a space where they feel safe and they don’t have to think about what’s going on even if just for an hour can make a huge difference.”

Having played hockey growing up Arthur admits that she knew the power of sport but didn’t know to what extent.

“I think there is a lot to be said for what sport can do for kids.”

Currently the local mum is running the program in the Moreton community for 45 kids across the winter season, Suncorp NetSetGO and a 6-week program for those who have never played netball before.

The mum of two has seen the difference in the kids since getting involved in the program, with some even stopping their counselling sessions.

“The walls have come down and they are now confident young ladies.”

Netball Queensland together with the Queensland Police Service aims to create an environment for women, men and their children to meet socialise with other families which will assist them in building confidence and break the cycle of domestic violence.

“It’s not just about the kids, it’s also about providing support to the mums and dads too,” said Arthur.