By Vanessa Campbell
Some Canadian groups are taking steps to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence — a move that comes amid intense coverage of abuse involving NFL players including Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens and Jonathan Dwyer of the Arizona Cardinals.
The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, the Edmonton Eskimos and the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League have partnered up to visit schools across the province to raise awareness about domestic violence.
The Leading Change: The Alberta CFL Project was created to educate youth about domestic violence, the group said in a media release.
Both the Edmonton Eskimos as well as the Calgary Stampeders will be going around to schools in Alberta to help spread the word about the issue.
Randy Chevrier, defensive tackle player for the Calgary Stampeders said that he thinks having the platform of such a masculinized sport will help the women’s council in getting their message across to youth.
When it comes to the relation between the timeliness of the launch and the NFL’s recent domestic violence scandals, Chevrier says that they had nothing to do with each other.
“It’s a real unfortunate coincidence,” Chevrier told Humber News on Thursday adding that “it’s been in the works for a while. We started talking about this project in February 2014 and received our training in March.”
Proud of the project
Chevrier said he was very proud for the project starting as early as it did.
“As we launch this program we’re able to genuinely say that we were being proactive and we were trying to get ahead of something that was a real issue in society.”
Jonathan Anderson, Community Relations Coordinator of the Calgary Stampeders said that the British Columbia Lions were the first team in the CFL to set the trend for partnering with women’s shelters to raise awareness about domestic violence.
“They partnered with EVA and they’re in their third year. We’ve just jumped on board with it. “ Anderson told Humber News, ”the hope is to get this going on across the league,”
“What happened with Ray Rice is very unfortunate but it casts a light on what we can do to make changes,“ said Chevrier.