This year Coventry City Football Club are joining forces with Coventry City Council in getting behind a campaign to shine a spotlight on domestic abuse.
Players and senior members of the club will be taking a stand and encouraging men to stand up and speak out against domestic abuse in society. They will use the football pitch arena to encourage the boys and men that follow the Sky Blues to be active allies in the fight against misogyny by taking a stand that domestic abuse is everyone’s business.
Coventry City will take on rivals Birmingham City for a Sky Bet Championship fixture place at the Coventry Building Society Arena this Friday, 8th December, and the Sky Blues will show support for the 16 Days of Action campaign on that day.
As well as information on the big screen and the programme, players will also wear warm up shirts with the Coventry domestic abuse helpline, ‘Safe to Talk’ details on, as well as showing a white ribbon on shirts during the game, while staff will wear ‘Safe to Talk’ white armbands.
By displaying the White Ribbon message to stop violence before it starts, the hope is to challenge the sexist and misogynistic attitudes that have plagued professional sport. Staff and players will show their support for the White Ribbon ahead of and during the match, whilst fans will be encouraged to make the White Ribbon Promise to never use, excuse or remain silent about men’s violence against women.
Cllr Pervez Akhtar, Deputy Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities, said: “It is excellent to have Coventry City Football Club on board in support of encouraging fans, players and clubs to show their allyship with women. There is so much positive that can come from sport, we hope that men get behind supporting White Ribbon Day and change the story for women to live their lives free from the fear of violence.
“I would like to remind residents that the Safe to Talk website enables easy access to help and support either as members of the public or professionals who may wish to refer individuals. All of us need to be vigilant. We need to help understand domestic abuse in all its forms and support victims to bring these crimes out into the open.”
Julie Nugent, Chief Executive at Coventry City Council said: “Addressing domestic violence is a key priority for Coventry City Council. We know that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will have some experience of domestic violence in their lifetime. We are keen to continue supporting those that are affected and those that want to change their behaviour as well.
“That’s why we are delighted that our partners, Coventry City Football Club are joining us in this campaign with information and resources being provided at the home match against Birmingham City on 8th December. We continue to encourage men to say that it’s never okay to be violent to women and indeed no domestic abuse is acceptable. We want to encourage residents to start talking to encourage men to reach out to other men and hopefully reduce the numbers of individuals and families affected by domestic violence in this city.
Doug King, Coventry City Owner and Executive Chairman, said:
“We’re delighted to be working with Coventry City Council to support this very important campaign.
“Coventry City FC will always be a vocal supporter on issues such as this and we will endeavour to change behaviour and lead by example to our fans and the wider community.
“We ask you to call out those who talk inappropriately to or about women, either there and then, or later, by reporting such incidents to the club or to those that can educate and make a difference. Ignoring such behaviour by laughing along or saying nothing is not acceptable in this day and age.
“Coventry City FC is embarking on a journey to reach our potential. We are supported magnificently by the vast majority of our fans, and I am absolutely certain without that support we will not succeed. Sexism and misogyny diminish the potential of women and girls in our society, this is destructive not supportive behaviour and as a football family, we must stamp it out.”
Safe to Talk is available online and by phone 0800 111 4998.