The NRL VAV initiative aims to assist the rugby league community to ‘stand up’ ‘speak out’ and ‘take action’ to prevent violence against women and children.
The announcement follows a highly successful Rugby League World Cup, which saw the USA Hawks compete against the Kumuls in Port Moresby.
Ambassador of the United States to PNG, Her Excellency Catherine Ebert-Gray, said this is the first time the US State Department has partnered with rugby league and spoke of the passion PNG has for it.
“It is this passion that we believe can help drive some real change in behaviour and attitudes towards gender-based violence,” she said.
Mark Mom, NRL PNG manager, added: “The NRL is forming a coalition alongside expert partners which includes the Family Sexual Violence Action Committee, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the PNGRFL and now the US Embassy, to change the behaviour, attitude and actions of those in our communities that think domestic violence is ok.
“Together we can be a catalyst for change and contribute directly to the long-term prevention of domestic violence in PNG.”
Following the announcement, Ambassador Ebert-Gray and guests attended a VAV workshop jointly facilitated by NRL and FSVAC.
The new partnership will see the Voice Against Violence program expand its reach to ensure that more communities across PNG receive the education, support and resources to make informed decisions and ultimately, end domestic violence.