IN AUSTRALIA, one woman a week on average dies at the hands of her current or former partner.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, two thirds of women who experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former cohabitating partner said the violence had started or escalated during this time.

These are only two stats out of many that point to the devastating impact domestic violence can have on families.

This is why the Carlton Football Club is incredibly proud to pull up its orange socks this Sunday for the annual AFL Carlton Respects Game, proudly presented by MC Labour.

Carlton Respects is the Club’s community initiative that aims to create a society of equality and respect in schools, communities and workplaces.

Gender inequality is the biggest contributing factor that leads to domestic violence.

Through its schools program, Carlton Respects reaches 4,000 students annually as well as utilising its workplace charter and awareness-raising to highlight the issue of domestic violence and the crucial role gender equality can play in preventing it. 

If you would like to play your part in contributing to help Carlton Respects grow the work it is doing, you can click here to donate should you be in a position to.


Since 2016, the Blues have worn orange socks for one AFL game a year. Orange signifies the international colour of harmony. It is a symbol to help raise awareness of the issue of domestic violence and the devastating impact it is having on families around Australia. 

This year’s AFL Carlton Respects game is putting an emphasis on healthy relationships. 

Healthy relationships are important in every aspect of life, allowing people to feel respected, safe and see us share the joys and challenges of life with others.

Sadly, healthy relationships are something thousands of families around Australia do not currently enjoy. 

By shining a light on healthy relationships, what it takes to create and nurture one, Carlton Respects hopes to educate as many people as possible, with the ultimate goal to promote equality and reduce the devastating statistics of domestic violence this country is still experiencing today.

When the Club launched its strategic plan at the start of last year, one of its 10 key targets was a clear commitment to establishing Carlton Respects as the most influential gender equality program in Australian sport. 

Carlton CEO Cain Liddle said these weeks were always a significant part of the Club’s calendar and served to raise awareness of a prevalent issue in our society.

04:32 Mins
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Let's change the story: Violence against women in Australia

Australia has a choice. We can change the story that currently sees a woman murdered every week by a current or former partner. We can choose a future where women and their children live free from violence.

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“We know that sport creates the opportunity to provide a platform to influence positive change in society and serves as a key reason why Carlton Respects is a key target in our strategic plan,” Liddle said.

“Every year our AFL and AFLW Carlton Respects games are key moments that our club feels a real ownership to highlight an issue that is having an impact on so many families around Australia.

“The statistics around domestic violence are horrific and to put it simply, not something our club will stand for: we will not just sit back without playing our part in working towards a solution.

“The Carlton Football Club is proud to use our platform to stand for something with real meaning and use the power of sport to unite us all. Our Carlton Respects program is an initiative that allows us to play our role in educating the entire community on this issue and promote gender equality so that thousands of Australian families no longer have to experience what they are currently going through.” 

Our Watch – a national leader in the primary prevention of violence against women and their children – works closely with the Carlton Football Club as part of its Carlton Respects program.

Our Watch CEO and Carlton board member Patty Kinnersly has reiterated the Club’s commitment to raising awareness of the devastating effects violence against women is having across our nation.

“To be able to influence real social change, we all need to work together to create homes, schools, communities, and workplaces where women are safe, equal, and valued. The Carlton Football Club understands the important role it can play in helping to normalise gender equality through its Carlton Respects program for its players, staff, sponsors, and fans,” Kinnersly said. 

“We know from the international research that if we continue to encourage respectful and equal relationships and promote gender equality, we will be able to prevent violence against women from happening in the first place.”