About the Cause
Momentum for the campaign began in 2006, and was consolidated in 2008 when NO MORE Campaign founder Charlie King visited remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory to discuss family violence. Charlie noticed a trend among the top end and central desert communities.
Charlie saw that some men had very strong opinions on how men should care and look after their family in a positive way. He saw these men as future leaders, though they were small in number. Then in the middle was the majority, who made no strong action either for or against the violence. Then, at the other end of the spectrum was a group who felt as strongly as the first, but in that they should be allowed to control their families however they choose. Charlie saw the challenge as figuring out how to empower the men in the first group who want to see a peaceful change. In talking with these men, Charlie noticed two independently recurring phrases said by all the local elders. These phrases were ‘no more’ and ‘all men should link up’.
From this the NO MORE Campaign took its name and symbol of linked arms. Our name is a homage to those Indigenous men in remote Northern Territory communities taking action in their communities. When we link arms as a symbolic gesture, we are referring to the words of indigenous elders.
Family violence is not, however, exclusive to indigenous communities. Accordingly, the campaign has reached out to the wider Australian community.
The key theme of the campaign is placing the responsibility of reducing family violence on men, the most common perpetrators. Central to the program is the respect of women. While men may have the power to be destructive, they have an equal power to care and look after their families. The reduction of family violence needs men to stand up, as individuals and a group, and take ownership for finding a solution.
To engage with large numbers of men, it is important to be present where large numbers of men gather. Sport, therefore, acts as a way to engage with men on a large scale and is the ideal place to engage with men on family violence. On this basis, the campaign began to involve itself in the sporting community.
Today the NO MORE Campaign has links with more than five sporting codes and nearly a hundred teams, and is still growing. A unique NO MORE approach to family violence has been developed, the domestic violence action plan.
The concept of a domestic violence action plan started with the local Northern Territory NTFL team Nightcliff and has since rolled on to be embraced by national teams such as the NRL’s Parramatta Eels. The linking of arms has become a staple of big matches, such as recent NTFL Grand Finals and national sporting code visits to the Northern Territory. The importance of staying connected to grassroots teams has not been forgotten, with the campaign being heavily involved in the Alice Springs Lightening Carnival and associated regional communities.
The NO MORE Campaign has also garnered support from all levels of government, and the wider public.
Wider public awareness of the campaign is growing through our increasing engagement with the sporting community. Charlie King’s recent appearance on Q and A also provided significant coverage of the campaign on the national stage, as well the launch of the Parramatta Eels Domestic Violence Action Plan. The launch was attended by Senator Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, and also saw a personal recording of support from former Prime Minister Tony Abbot.
The issue of family and domestic violence is not going away. As the campaign grows, our aim stays the same: to reduce family violence by engaging men in the sporting community. We will achieve this at both the grassroots and national level.
We see the campaign being embraced by the sporting community similar to the ideas of fair play and respect. Sport is the embodiment of fairness and equality – family violence is a clear violation of these ideals. All sportsmen are role models in their communities, and role modelling family safety is essential to changing national attitudes towards family violence.
We aim to create a future free from family violence.