Match-Day Domestic Violence Shocks Star; ADAM JONES PUTS HIS WEIGHT BEHIND PRO-WOMEN CAMPAIGN
Byline: MATT WITHERS
WELSH rugby is not proud of its link to violence against women, Adam Jones said yesterday as he put his weight behind a project to urge men to speak out against sexism and domestic violence.
The Wales prop spoke out at the National Assembly at the launch of the project by Cardiff Women's Aid to fight gender inequality and domestic violence. Police figures show that domestic violence figures tend to peak during tournaments such as the Six Nations and World Cup, as alcohol and heightened emotions take hold, and several forces have targeted campaigns at those times.
But as part of this project, which urges men to "be a man and speak up", Mr Jones said sexist attitudes needed to be challenged at all times.
Cardiff and the Vale's Women's Rights, Education and Advocacy Project has already recruited and trained 42 female volunteers to oppose violence against women in all its forms.
Now the project is looking for male volunteers to promote gender equality and to speak out against domestic violence in their own communities.
Mr Jones said: "Unfortunately there's a big link between rugby, which is something we're obviously very proud of in Wales, and domestic violence, which increases every time there's an international match, and that's not something we're proud of.
"I'm shocked, getting ready for this, to learn that one in four women are affected by violence and abuse, and, well, there's a lot of women in my life - I'm a proud father, a proud husband. And it kind of hit home to me when I read some of the stuff about it and, when I thought that one in four women I knew could be affected, I realised we had to do something about it.
"Things have to change, and then we can all make a difference."
There was a lot to do in Wales, and it needed men to get involved, the Ospreys star said. "It isn't just a problem for women and girls, it's a problem for everyone," he said. …