Reaching out to victims through women’s football

Victim Support Nottinghamshire is sponsoring a newly-formed women’s football team to reach out to young female victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and harassment.

The charity was the match day sponsor for the Notts County Ladies first WSL1 League game v Arsenal Ladies on Wednesday 16th April.

The charity’s presence at the elite team’s first Women’s Super League football game of the season was aimed at helping Victim Support raise awareness of how it can help the game’s fans, friends or family members if they’re being harmed or distressed following a crime. And that Victim Support can also offer support to witnesses attending any of the local criminal courts.

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Divisional Manager for Nottinghamshire, Olwen Edwards explained: “Through our sponsorship we hope we become known in the women and girls football community, as a support service that can assist them or a friend or family member who is suffering distress or harm”.

“Primarily it’s about targeting our support services at women and girls but using a new way of doing this. So we can reach out to those who need support following a crime.

“We already know female victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and harassment do not report all the crimes they face to the police. And on top of that, young people in particular, are reluctant to take up support on offer.”

England striker Jess Clarke and England Student World Games striker Aileen Whelan, are helping the charity by talking to their fans about the issues and encouraging women and girls to seek help. The two players will also attend Victim Support events later in the year.

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As part of the deal, Victim Support (Nottinghamshire) gave away 25 tickets to some young people who would not otherwise be able to afford to attend the game.

It also sponsored two of the players, Team GB International striker Jess Clarke and England Student World Games striker Aileen Whelan.

Olwen Edwards addd: “Connecting Victim Support with the women and girls football community will help us to reach lots more people, so that they know ‘we are here to help you’ if and when they need our help, thanks to the support of world-class players like Jess and Aileen.”

The Victim Support line can be contacted on 0300 303 1947.