Like the vast majority of New Zealander’s, I’m a rugby fan, infact I’ve even played a few games during my lifetime. Like most Kiwis I’m excited about the fact that we’re hosting the Rugby World Cup this year (I’m also proud of the fact that it was the Labour Party that secured the rights to host for our country…but that’s a separate issue).
One issue that I hadn’t considered till recently was the copious amounts of alcohol that is likely to be consumed over the course of the world cup and the subsequent impact that this could have on family violence, abuse and neglect. It was a report written by Debbie Hager and Diane Woolsen Neville that alerted me to these concerns, ‘Mitigating the risk of men’s violence aginst women increasing during the Rugby World Cup 2011′.
The report cites evidence of increased levels of violence, abuse and neglect during major sporting events. It looks like a successful campaign run overseas during these type of events is being rolled out in New Zealand, the ‘Blow the Whistle Campaign’ – this is a wise move. Recommendations have been made in this report with respect to advertising, policing, venue safety, safety of children and young people and a number of other areas. The Government will need to take up these recommendations to ensure that any risk of increased violence is mitigated during this time.