The Gold Coast SUNS players and staff have this week taken part in a domestic and family violence education session hosted by SUNS official charity partner RizeUp Australia.

The session was run by RizeUp CEO Nicolle Edwards and her husband Gareth who shone the spotlight on the troubling issue which is entrenched in Australian society.

“What has brought me personally to this space is that it’s a massive human rights violation,” Edwards said in her presentation.

“Intimate partner violence is the leading cause of death, disability and ill-health in Australian women between the ages of 15 and 44 and that’s more than smoking and obesity.

“Police are called out to a domestic violence incident every two minutes in Australia and an Australian woman is hospitalised every three minutes due to a domestic and family violence injury.

“Three women per week are hospitalised with a traumatic brain injury.”

RizeUp’s mission is to drive awareness of domestic and family violence within our society by generating life-changing, practical support for the families affected, giving them the hope and empowerment to move on to a life free from violence. 

The presentation highlighted ways players and staff could be active community advocates to prevent domestic and family violence.

“Violence against women begins with disrespect,” Edwards said.

“Give yourselves permission to lean in because every single one of us has capacity to change what happens next. 

“By challenging disrespect towards women we can change the culture and ultimately prevent violence against women.”

Round 8 against St Kilda at Metricon Stadium will be the SUNS’ Round to RizeUp.

A family fleeing from a violent household will often enter a refuge with nothing but the clothes on their backs and RizeUp have created various programs to support and empower these courageous families via specialist domestic and family violence organisations. 

When a family leaves a refuge, RizeUp furnish their new accommodation with everything they need to make it a home, so they can make a fresh start. They also help impacted children in their healing process and to settle into a new school.

The club will be asking the community to RizeUp to help create new beginnings for our fellow community members.

Each new accommodation setup costs approximately $5,000 to furnish for a family making a fresh start.

Donations can be made whilst purchasing tickets, at any time via the RizeUp website or on match day at Metricon Stadium on May 8.

The Gold Coast SUNS will not tolerate domestic and family violence.

As individuals, as a team and as a club, we can:

  • Look after our friends and family, our neighbours and colleagues
  • Ask if they’re okay?
  • Hold our friends and family accountable for their attitudes and behaviours 
  • Understand the drivers to violence against women and children

If you or anyone you know is affected by domestic or family violence contact 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or if you are in immediate danger call 000.