The Irish Football Association (Irish FA), Ulster Gaelic Athletic Association (UGAA), and Ulster Rugby (UR) have given their support to Department of Justice (DoJ) in the fight against domestic violence and abuse in a campaign that will be delivered to tens of thousands of spectators at leading sports fixtures over the next few months.
The ‘Don’t Tackle It Alone’ campaign is the result of over twelve months of partnership working between the Department of Justice and the three sporting organisations to develop a programme of education and participation. The innovative approach is designed to encourage anyone who has concerns to seek help and report domestic abuse.
Campaign messages will be featured in match programmes and will be played on video screens at pitch-side. Players will be adding their personal support in a number of ways including wearing warm up t-shirts featuring the campaign strapline and hashtag #DontTackleItAlone.
Anthony Harbinson, DoJ Head of Community Safety Division: “Domestic violence is a crime. Over 29,000 incidents of violence and abuse took place in our cities, towns and rural areas last year. The first step for a man, woman or child in seeking help can be the most difficult.
“Domestic violence and abuse, which often features sexual abuse, is significantly under reported. Tackling it is everyone’s responsibility and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Irish FA, UGAA, and Ulster Rugby to raise awareness and to deliver a clear message that anyone who thinks they or someone they know is being abused don’t have to tackle it alone.”
The campaign gets underway on Friday 9 February, Ulster Rugby v Southern Kings, at Kingspan Stadium, Belfast and Friday 16th February, Ulster Rugby v Edinburgh.
Shane Logan, Chief Executive, Ulster Rugby said, “Ulster Rugby is fully behind this important initiative, which raises awareness of domestic abuse and offers encouragement to victims to seek support.
“I commend the Department of Justice on this programme and I’m pleased that Ulster Rugby, Ulster GAA and the Irish FA can assist in its delivery.”
The campaign will also feature at prominent matches in the coming months including the Dr McKenna Cup Final, Tyrone V Donegal, on Saturday 17th February in Celtic Park, Derry.
Ulster GAA CEO, Brian McAvoy said, "Ulster GAA are committed to working with our partners in the Irish Football Association, Ulster Rugby, and the Department of Justice to help raise awareness of this very important issue. We hope this campaign will encourage those with concerns to speak-out and get the help they need; and that ultimately we can help to reduce the incidence of domestic abuse.”
The Irish FA will feature the campaign at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast for the Northern Ireland senior men’s international friendly against South Korea on 24 March and the Tennent’s Irish Cup Final on 5 May.
Irish FA Chief Executive, Patrick Nelson, added: “I am pleased that the Irish Football Association is partnering with our colleagues in Ulster GAA and Ulster Rugby to deliver this important awareness campaign. No-one should have to tackle domestic abuse alone and my hope would be that with the three sports working together to promote this message, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, that we can reduce instances of abuse and direct people to where they can find help.”
Anyone suffering from domestic abuse is encouraged to contact the police. In an emergency always call 999; if it is not an emergency call 101.
A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline is also available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual violence, now or in the past. The helpline can be contacted on Freephone 0808 802 1414, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or, text 'support' to 07797805839.
Notes to editors:
For all media queries, please contact the DOJ Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned
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