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Female footballers across Somerset are teaming up with Somerset County Council this weekend in a campaign calling for the final whistle to be blown on domestic abuse.
They have united to take part in the launch of Somerset Domestic Abuse Awareness Week (26-30 November), part of a national week of events to raise awareness of the issue of domestic abuse.
From Wembdon to Winsham, all females playing football in Somerset will be wearing black armbands when they take to the pitch on Sunday 25 November, as a mark of respect and support for anyone who have suffered domestic abuse. Members of the media are invited to make contact with their local team and help the soccer sorority and Somerset County Council deliver the message that domestic abuse will not be tolerated.
It has received the backing of Hope Powell, Head Coach of the England's Women's team. She said: "Domestic abuse is a subject people are sometimes uncomfortable talking about, but if it is to be successfully tackled that cannot be the case. I think it is wonderful that Somerset's female football community is coming together like this to raise awareness in their county. I think the campaign will make people sit up and take notice, and makes a real statement of support for anyone who has suffered from domestic abuse."
Yeovil Town Ladies Football Club is helping launch the week of awareness raising. First Team captain Sarah Lawler, also the Somerset FA's Girl's and Women's Football Development Officer, said: "This is an issue everyone should be aware of, it can have devastating impact not just on individuals, but on entire families. Awareness events like this can encourage more people to seek out the help and support that is there for them. I am delighted the County's female footballers have come together to support Somerset County Council in this initiative that could make a real difference."
As well as the ongoing work to tackle domestic abuse, special events will be taking place across the county throughout the awareness week*.
Councillor Jim Mochnacz, Somerset County Council's Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said: "We are committed to making Somerset an even safer place to live, and working with our partners to confront domestic abuse is an important part of that. I'm delighted that the County's female footballers have seen fit to give the awareness week their endorsement. Their efforts and the activities going on around the county during the awareness week will bring the issue to the public's attention and help us address it as a community."
Somerset Change can be contacted on 0800 6949999.
Photo - Yeovil Town players Julie Sinkins, Kia Bowles and Sarah Lawler try on their black armbands.
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