Blow the whistle on domestic violence

Continuing with our series of blogs for the 16 days of action, David Dougan, a Sports and Fitness Lecturer at our Kilmarnock Campus, shares his thoughts around why it is important that we all act as role models in promoting and embodying the message that any type of abuse is unacceptable.

David was recently nominated for the ‘Campaigner of the Year’ award at The Herald Society Awards.

David and his NC Sports class have been instrumental in organising the College 5-a-side football tournament ‘Blow the whistle on domestic violence’. This was held on Monday 5th of December and also saw some guest players from Police Scotland take part.

David Dougan.jpg

College changed my life when I was 18 and gave me a second chance to succeed in a career I am passionate about.

My lecturers acted as role models for me and really inspired me not only to become a lecturer but to become a better person. I feel so privileged that in my job I have the power to positively influence the lives of so many young adults on a daily basis.

I firmly believe that teaching is also about encouraging and supporting our students to be better people in their communities. For me that means challenging the inequalities we see around us. With my NC Sports class, I lead on and participate in the College’s annual football tournament ‘Blow the whistle on domestic violence’.  This is the second year we have run this 5-side football game at our Kilmarnock Campus, which is open to all students.

Having this tournament and its associated activities shows that football and sport in general can be forces for good. It concerns me to learn that researchers from St. Andrews University found a link in 2013 between domestic abuse and matches between Rangers and Celtic.

There was a significant rise in physical, emotional and sexual abuse in the 24 hours after a game in comparison to any other time of the year. With the re-birth of Old Firm games in 2016, I believe it is imperative that schools and colleges are places which both educate and empower.

It is the duty of us all, lecturers included, to be role models who promote and embody the message that any type of abuse is totally unacceptable.

Having had a family member suffer abuse from her ex-partner, I know there are no excuses for violence. Football. Alcohol. Any other reason given.

Currently in our Sports and Fitness courses we have more females enrolled than ever before.

It is really inspiring to see all these young women flourish in a traditionally male dominated industry. I don’t want them or any other women to be the 1 in 3 who have, or will experience, gender-based violence in their lifetime.

Last year we raised £350 for East Ayrshire’s Women’s Aid. The amount matters little when the impact to a women’s life and potentially her family will be huge. She will know we do not accept, condone or are silent on gender-based violence.

You can contact the College’s Student Services teams or organisations like Women’s Aid if you or anyone you know requires support.

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