While footy finals time is cause for celebrations and friendly rivalry, for some families it means an escalation of domestic violence.
While footy finals time is cause for celebrations and friendly rivalry, for some families it means an escalation of domestic violence. MaxPixel's contributors

OUR SAY: The dark side of footy finals

Play your role to stop finals violence

THE excitement of footy finals time is palpable as spectators pack in grounds and lounge rooms hoping their teams will transpire as ultimate victors of the season.

There's a lot riding on those halves and quarters of play and a footy fan's yearning to be part of a winning team can swiftly travel well beyond the acceptable boundaries of sporting rivalry. We all know someone is going to lose but it's how that defeat is handled that can quickly take the lustre off what should a celebration of the great Aussie tradition.

Hinging your mood on whether your footy team succeeds or not is not a new thing; the escalation of violence during the finals period is something police have sadly had to prepare for every September.

There are women out there, often with young onlookers, who know only too well how much it hurts when their bloke's team doesn't measure up to his expectations.

In the UK, they took it so seriously, the government ran a campaign highlighting this recurring violence featuring a woman's face bleeding in the shape of the red cross from the flag of England.

Given gambling and alcohol are also at the forefront of our footy culture here in Australia, getting drunk and losing more money than you can afford on a game that also sees your team crushed can be a triple-barrelled blast of anger of which no person would want to be on the receiving end.

Wherever you celebrate or commiserate your footy final activities, be mindful it's not just a game in many households.

If you see or hear anything that doesn't sound right, intervene. Footy is a team sport and that goes for spectators, too.

- Lesley Apps

Dark side to footy grand final fever

WHEN the subject of footy finals is brought up, my mind is more likely to think of the games, the key match-ups between players, who I'm going to tip in my footy tipping competition and where I'm going to watch the game.

My mind doesn't go to the problem of domestic violence.

There will be many footy fans out there exactly like me, who don't think of the connection between sport and domestic violence, and I think that's part of the problem.

However just because it doesn't directly impact yourself, doesn't mean it isn't a problem.

There will be others who say that during the footy finals isn't the time to talk about things like domestic violence but if that's the case, when is the right time?

The same line will be trotted out in the US by Republicans and the NRA after the (almost inevitable) next mass shooting.

The wake of the trauma isn't the time to talk about what can be done to ensure it doesn't happen again.

To their credit, major football codes have done a lot to tackle domestic violence within their codes but if recent form from some players is any indication, there's a lot more that needs to be done to address the problem.

This issue is serious and as such needs to be addressed in a serious manner.

Awareness is an important first step, as is acknowledging the fact that while sport can bring enjoyment and happiness for many, there's always another side to it.

- Jarrard Potter

If this has raised any issues for you or your family, phone 1800RESPECT on 1800737732 or Lifeline on 131114.



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