We’ve been hugely fortunate since launching the UK SAYS NO MORE campaign in May 2016 to have worked with some incredibly passionate organisations and individuals. Among these has been our collaboration with the NFL and their NFL UK team.
During the Summer of 2016, we joined NFL UK in their On And Off Summer Camp, whereby players aged 16 to 30 from universities and clubs across the UK came together to highlight the importance of respect, integrity and responsibility to the team – on and off the field.
Lyndsey Dearlove, Hestia’s VAWG Partnership Manager, worked collaboratively with Jessica Boyd, the NFL’s Head of Gender and Community Involvement, to create a Peer Ambassador Programme. The programme brings student players from across the UK together to attend training developed by Lyndsey, on issues around masculinity, domestic abuse, sexual violence, bystander intervention and consent.
An event was held in London on the 20th October 2016 to showcase our work with the NFL – the camp, the Peer Ambassador Programme, alongside the campaign’s series of print ads featuring photographs of the ambassadors, NFL staff and players.
— UK SAYS NO MORE (@UKSAYSNOMORE) October 20, 2016
The showcase event, hosted by Sky News presenter Neil Reynolds, saw discussion from Jessica Boyd, Lyndsey Dearlove, Julian Mellini (Strategic Analysis NFL international), Lisa Friel (Special Counsel for Investigations, NFL) and two of the ambassadors, Victor Bambigboye, and Harry-Jack Searle. The ambassadors spoke about the positive impact the camp and training has had on them as individuals, giving them the tools they need to feel more confident in addressing and discussing these issues with people in their own communities.
— Chris Hafner (@StratExec) October 20, 2016
After the event, Lyndsey Dearlove reflected on her time working with the NFL and the impact the experience has had on all involved:
Creating the DASV (domestic abuse and sexual violence) Ambassador Programme with the NFL was a fantastic opportunity, to not only increase awareness about domestic abuse and sexual violence but to also empower the dedicated men who stepped up to become ambassadors, to be able to feel confident enough in their knowledge to start the conversation about domestic abuse and sexual violence with their peers.
By doing so they can feel empowered to challenge the language that is used, and most importantly be able to provide the telephone number of a specialist support service – which can be done using Hestia’s Bright Sky App.
American football was not a sport that I had come into contact with until we started working with NFL. What struck me was the sense of community that envelops the sport and the commitment to the team and individual players that the NFL advocates for – these qualities are all part of why we chose to work with them to create the NFL DASV Ambassador programme. It was a great experience to deliver a 3 day training on domestic abuse and sexual violence. Our Peer Ambassadors were so giving of themselves and I walked away from the training having learnt so much from these young men.
I learnt about the pressures they experience from the media, their peer groups and society as a whole on how to be a ‘man’, and about their fear of being accused of being abusive themselves. The most important lesson I learned and the most important message which we as specialist support providers of domestic abuse services need to hear is that: men are equally angry about the abuse that is being perpetrated against their mothers, sisters, friends and work colleagues. Men are equally frustrated and they want the abuse to stop too, and are willing and seeking ways to get involved and take a stand against domestic abuse and sexual violence.
.@VictorWantsIn ‘Working towards prevention as can be as simple as responding to derogatory language with “That’s not cool” #lockerroomtalk pic.twitter.com/turrEXyvQb — UK SAYS NO MORE (@UKSAYSNOMORE) October 20, 2016
When asked which moment stood out to me, I can recall a moment during the NFL’s On and Off camp training session when I had the opportunity to stand back and watch the ambassadors talk about what they had learnt about domestic abuse and sexual violence to the entire group. It was incredibly powerful to see them be so confident in their knowledge of the issues, and speak so eloquently and passionately about the prevention of domestic abuse, sexual violence – they facilitated conversations about consent and finished their session by talking about healthy relationships.
Over the course of the 2 days of training, they facilitated conversations with over 150 young men – explaining how they could take a stand against Domestic Abuse was incredibly rewarding and heart-warming to see.
#UKSAYSNOMORE print ads
View the entire series of print ads, including NFL ambassadors, staff and players. These are available to download, print and share, to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Learn more about domestic violence and sexual assault and encourage having open conversations about these issues with your friends and family.
Share your pictures with us on social media using the hashtag #UKSAYSNOMORE or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.