INDEPENDENT NEWS

Rugby World Cup - win, lose or draw violence is not OK

Published: Wed 7 Sep 2011 12:03 PM
Rugby World Cup - win, lose or draw violence is not OK
A campaign using the language of sport to raise awareness of family violence is currently underway in the Horowhenua using messages and sentiments that Police hope will reverberate across Central District during the Rugby World Cup.
Blow the Whistle on Violence is a community-driven campaign launched by the Horowhenua Abuse Liaison Team (HALT). It uses key messages such as 'fair play on and off the field', 'win, lose or draw - violence is not OK' and 'good hands don't hit - you can stop the violence'.
Coasters and posters are being circulated to venues throughout the area where games are likely to be watched and social events held.
"This is just the sentiment we want to encourage across the whole of the District and the country," said Operations Manager Inspector Dave White. "Sport can lead to tensions running very high and experiences across the world show us that we shouldn't underestimate the risks of violence even when the outcome of a game is a positive 'win'.
"Add alcohol to the mix and there are some serious risks. There is absolutely no excuse for violence either within the home or in public places and the Police will not tolerate it. If people can't learn to channel their heightened emotions in a positive way, or walk away from a point of tension they will find themselves facing the consequences."
• Have realistic expectations. Everyone has a team they are supporting, but every game has to have winners and losers, so just enjoy the game and accept the outcome. • Consider the children. Rugby and the World Cup should be a family occasion. Don't let children grow up remembering associating this major event in their lives with violence. • Go easy on the alcohol. If you are drinking make sure you have equal amounts of water or non-alcoholic drinks. • If an argument starts to brew or you feel your tensions rising, take a deep breath and walk away. Take time out to let everyone calm down and if necessary sober up. • If you have real concerns for the safety of someone contact the police.
Useful links and numbers
Police emergency - 111 Women's Refuge - www.womensrefuge.org.nz (0800 REFUGE) Victim Support - www.victimsupport.org.nz (0800 VICTIM) Lifeline - www.lifeline.org.nz (0800 543 354) Family Violence It's Not OK - www.areyouok.org.nz (0800 456 450) HALT - www.facebook.com/HorowhenuaAbuseLiaisonTeam (06 366 0540)
Rugby games in Central District are: 11 September - Ireland v USA - New Plymouth at 6pm 15 September - Russia v USA - New Plymouth at 7.30pm 26 September - Wales v Namibia - New Plymouth at 7.30pm 28 September - Georgia v Romania - Palmerston North at 7.30pm 2 October - Argentina v Georgia - Palmerston North at 1pm
ends

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